If you are wondering how to get rid of canker sores then welcome to this page. I get a lot of canker sores as I bite the inside of my cheeks quite a lot when I eat (not the only cause by any means), and I only recently found out thanks to a nursing student friend of mine that the little bumps that appeared had a name! They can also be caused by excess acid in the diet, hormonal inbalances, smoking and even certain toothpastes and mouthwashes (see prevention).
Generally canker sores will go away on their own without any need for treatment but if they are sore or causing discomfort then there are a few things you can try to at least relieve the a little. You can also take preventative measures to stop them appearing in the first place.
How to get rid of canker sores – the ultimate guide including prevention.
Some tips to get rid of canker sores, which are definitely worth trying:
1. Gargle with a solution of warm water and salt – sounds horrible and tastes nasty, believe me. Just gargle, do not swallow! Gargle for around 30 seconds or as long as you can stand then spit out in the sink. Do this twice a day for abut 3 days and see if the sores start to heal and get smaller.
2. You can buy over the counter meds such as lidocaine – this will not speed up the healing of the sore, but it will help alleviate any pain that the sore is causing. Ask you local chemist for this or any alternatives that they can recommend.
3. Grape juice is reported to have beneficial effects on canker sores and to help speed up healing time. This has not been scientifically proven but people have reported seeing benefits. If you like grape juice then you have nothing to lose by trying this. Drink a few cupfuls each day, not to much as juice contains a lot of sugar.
4. Try soaking a cotton wall ball in Pepto Bismol, or similar, and hold it against the sore a few times a day. The alkaline will help reduce the acidity and have a calming effect.
5. Similar to above but using a tea bag. Dampen a tea bag and hold it against the sore. The alkaline nature of the tea bag works in the same way as Pepto Bismol.
Prevention and care
Avoid anything that contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate – specifically toothpaste and mouthwashes as this has been known to make the sores worse.
Be careful when brushing your teeth if you have canker sores – avoid aggravating them by rubbing them with the brush.
Try to avoid foods that may irritate your sore – such as spicy food, or acidic foods like citrus fruit (oranges, lemons and so on).
If you keep biting your sore it runs a risk of becoming infected – persistent pain or redness and a discharge could be signs that the canker sore is becoming infected. If this happens see your doctor who can prescribe you antibiotics after diagnosis. You should also see your doctor is the sores remain after two or three weeks or if you regularly suffer from them. If you develop a fever then seek medical advice also.