Canker Sore Home Remedy

Canker sore home remedy is here to help you get rid of those annoyingly painful canker sores!

What is a canker sore?
First, there is a difference between a canker sore and a cold sore (aka fever blister). Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus and usually begin as a cluster of tiny blisters that merge into one larger sore. They appear on the lips and face and can be contagious.

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Canker sores, on the other hand, are usually found alone and are not contagious. Luckily, they don't stay around too long and there are some great home remedies you can try below. A canker sore is usually circular, yellow to white in the middle with a red border/outline. It generally measures three to five millimeters in diameter and is usually located on the inside of the lip or cheek or sometimes on the tongue. They tend to hurt for 3-4 days then go away in about 10 days (if it lasts any longer than that, see your physician). While not serious, they can be very painful and a nuisance when you're just trying to eat.

What causes a canker sore?
The causes are still unknown but canker sores tend to occur more frequently in people who are fatigued, stressed out, or have poor diets (which is why it seems like college students are more prone to getting them during final exam time). So stop stressing!

It can also be hereditary - if both your parents suffered from canker sores, there's very high chance you will be too. They can also develop sometimes as a result of minor injuries to the mouth, like when your toothbrush slips or you eat something with a hard shell, like tacos. If you already have a sore, eating spicy foods may make it worsen.

Canker Sore Home Remedy

  • OTC (over the counter) medications. Look for antiseptic creams, lozenges, and mouthwashes as your local pharmacy that can help relieve the pain. Products like Orabase and Benzocaine cover the surface like a clear bandage, which will coat the sore and help prevent it from getting infected. Products that contain xylocaine, a local anesthetic, can also help to dull the pain and soreness. You can also try aspirin to relieve the pain (use as directed).
  • Mouth rinses.
    • Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide. Mix 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 ounces hydrogren peroxide and keep in small bottle to use daily. Rince your mouth with it about 4 times a day. If the mixture is too strong, dilute with 2 ounces of water.
    • Salt Water. Just make a solution of salt and water and rinse your mouth with it several times a day. This can help speed the healing process.
    • Aloe Juice. Take aloe juice from the juicy inner portion of the leaf and rinse over the canker sore several times each day. The aloe plants curative powers can help relieve pain and get rid of the sore.
    • Sage. Add 3 teaspoons sage leaves to 1 pint boiling water. Steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Rinse your mouth with the mixture several times a day. You can also turn the sage leaves into a powder by rubbing them with a spoon in a bowl, and apply directly to the canker sore.
  • Food Watch. Watch what you're eating and track when you tend to get canker sores. For some people, the onset of sores is often correlated with certain foods, like shellfish, nuts, chocoloate, and tomatoes. Canker sores can sometimes be caused by food allergies. Other likely offenders are spicy foods and things that can scratch your mouth or continue to keep the canker sore wound open, like hard taco shells and chips.
  • Maintain a Healthy Diet. Get your recommended daily source of vitamins and minerals. Deficiencies in iron, B12, and folic acid have been players in the cause of canker sores.
  • Canker Sore Home Remedy mixtures. Mix together equal amounts of (1) Milk of Magnesia or Kaopectate AND (2) Benylin or Benadryl.
    Milk of Magnesia and Kaopectate both contain ingredients that coat wet skin tissues, like those in the mouth that appear open from the canker sore. Benylin and Benadryl contain ingredients that act as mild topical anesthetics and antihistamines which reduce inflammation.

    Apply the mixture to the canker sore using a cotton swab. Be careful not to swallow the stuff; you could end up anesthetizing (numbing) the reflex that keeps the windpipe closed when you swallow.

When to see a Doctor.

  • If your canker sores are severe.
  • If you get them often.
  • If they last for more than 2 weeks.
If the canker sore home remedy list above does not help, your doctor (you can even see a dentist) may prescribe corticosteroids or triamcinolone dental paste (Kenalog in Orabase).

References (for canker sore home remedy):
"The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Women" by the Editors of Prevention Magazine

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