Almost everyone has had a canker sore at least once. They can be painful and make eating and drinking certain things a challenge sometimes. When you have braces, canker sores can hurt even more if they rub against the metal. So how and why do people even get canker sores? And what can we do to help them go away? The article below explains what a canker sore is and gives you 10 remedies! Check it out.
Ten remedies for canker sores
What is a canker sore?
A canker sore is a small ulcer inside the mouth. It may appear white or grey with red edges. Canker sores usually appear on the soft parts of the mouth, such as the tongue, inside of the cheeks, and just inside the lips.
The medical term for canker sores is recurrent aphthous stomatitis or RAS, and these ulcers will reappear again and again over time.
Canker sores are not contagious and usually heal on their own in around a week. They are less than 1 centimeter in diameter and can appear alone or in a cluster.
A rarer and more severe form of RAS causes larger ulcers that may last for 2 weeks or more and can cause scarring.
Ten ways to get rid of canker sores
Canker sores should heal on their own, but there are ways to relieve pain, speed up healing, and prevent infection. These include:
1. Over-the-counter gel or patch
Applying topical, over-the-counter medication, usually in the form of a gel or paste, directly to the canker sore. This prevents the ulcer from being irritated by spicy or acidic food, or by being touched.
Special patches or bandages can be placed over the canker sore. These are designed to stick to the inside of the mouth and will protect the ulcer from irritation.
2. Using a mouth rinse
Rinsing the mouth with an over-the-counter rinse to clean the area and provide relief from pain or discomfort.
A person should choose a mouth rinse that has antiseptic properties to prevent infection and to numb the inside of the mouth.
3. Using a salt rinse
People may also choose to use a natural alternative, such as a salt solution, to promote healing. Rinsing the mouth with a salt solution should not replace using a medicated mouthwash if needed.
4. Practicing dental hygiene with a soft brush
Looking after the mouth and being careful not to damage canker sores can speed up the healing process.
Using a soft toothbrush can help avoid irritating canker sores. Maintaining good oral hygiene by keeping teeth and gums clean can prevent ulcers from becoming infected.
5. Taking vitamin B-12 supplements
Vitamin B-12 supports normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and has an important part to play in the creation of red blood cells.
A small study found that taking a vitamin B-12 supplement reduced the amount of pain from the canker sores, the number of outbreaks, and the number of ulcers experienced in a month.
6. Drinking chamomile tea with honey
Chamomile and honey have been used historically for a variety of health reasons, and have been reported to help heal canker sores by reducing pain and inflammation.
There is limited scientific evidence of their benefits in treating ulcers, so they should not be used in place of medication.
Honey may have antiseptic properties and can be applied directly to a canker sore. It can also be combined with chamomile in a tea, which should be left to cool slightly before drinking.
Chamomile may have anti-inflammatory properties. A person can use chamomile as a canker sore remedy, by brewing a strong chamomile tea and using it to rinse the mouth once it has cooled. They can also soak a chamomile tea bag in warm water and apply directly to the ulcer.
7. Avoiding certain foods
A person should avoid very spicy, salty, or acidic food, which can irritate canker sores and stop them from healing.
Even hot drinks and food with rough edges, such as a piece of toast, might cause discomfort.
8. Using aloe vera
Applying aloe vera gel directly to the canker sore may help to soothe irritation, as well as reduce pain and inflammation.
Although there is limited scientific evidence on the benefits of aloe vera for canker sores, it is considered safe for use by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).
9. Numbing the mouth
A person can suck on ice chips and then apply them to a canker sore to relieve some pain and discomfort, as the cold will numb the feeling. The ice cube should not be applied directly to an ulcer without melting the surface slightly first.
10. Making a clove oil rinse
Clove oil has been used historically to relieve pain. A person can use clove oil as a remedy by rinsing the mouth first with a sea salt solution or mouthwash, then applying cotton wool soaked in clove oil to the canker sore to numb the pain.
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Source: Medical News Today