Canker sores are those unsightly boils that you get on your lips at the most inopportune times. Rather than make the problem more obvious by covering up with a band aid, or grimacing every time someone accidentally or inadvertently examines your source of embarrassment, why not just solve the problem as quickly as possible with some great remedies that don’t require a trip to the doctor’s office? Here are some tips for how to easily treat canker sores at home:
Determine that what you have is Really a Canker Sore.
Oftentimes, cold sores are confused with canker sores. Caused by the herpes virus, cold sores are completely different from canker sores, which are not contagious, and they must be treated differently. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to determine which kind of sore yours is. Cold sores begin as a group of little blisters that eventually form a single sore, while canker sores generally start as just one, three to five millimeter sore. Canker sores can often happen because of irritation in the mouth, such as an injury or irritation during dental work, like the installment of dental implants. Sometimes the cause is completely unknown.
Speed up the Healing Process.
This involves keeping the sore clean and treating it with solutions that are known to speed the body’s natural healing process. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, being extra careful not to irritate the sore. Use only toothpastes that do not contain any foaming ingredients (these include Biotene and Rembrandt for Canker Sores). Rinse your mouth after you brush, using a mixture of either salt or baking soda and warm water.
Treat the Pain.
One of the biggest complaints from people with canker sores is the extreme amount of pain they can cause, especially when they are still in their beginning stages. Your home treatment routine should include one, or a combination, of these pain relievers: ice (just hold it to the sore and allow it to melt), milk of magnesia (apply a few drops to the canker sore several times a day), a mixture of baking soda and water (combine to make a paste and apply it to the sore), or an over the counter canker sore pain medication that contains a numbing agent (examples include Orajel and Anbesol).
Avoid the Wrong Substances.
Foods that are abrasive, spicy, or acidic will only irritate your canker sore, causing even more pain and possibly making the flare-up last longer. Therefore, you should avoid consuming things like potato chips, citrus fruits and juices, and condiments like salsa and hot sauce while you have a canker sore.
Now that you have some reliable home remedies for your canker sore flare-ups, it shouldn’t be such a stressful event seeing one in the mirror. However, it is worth noting that any sore in your mouth that lasts more than ten days may be indicative of a medical condition much more serious than a canker sore; if this is the case, see your doctor or dentist right away to have it checked out.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
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