Treating a Canker Sore at Home

If you’ve ever experienced a canker sore, you know just how uncomfortable they can be. While many canker sores go away on their own, others require treatment. Today, our team at Jones Creek Family Dentistry wants to provide our patients with tips on spotting and treating canker sores in the comfort of their own home.

woman holding her lower lip with a painful canker sore

What Is a Canker Sore?

Canker sores are small ulcers in your mouth that are usually white or gray with a red border. They are uncomfortable and can make eating and talking difficult. Although we do not know exactly what causes canker sores, they can be triggered by certain foods, stress, or irritation. While many people may confuse cold sores and canker sores, they are very different. Cold sores are highly contagious and usually appear outside the mouth, while canker sores only develop inside the mouth.

How Do We Treat Canker Sores?

In many cases, minor canker sores go away on their own after a week or two. If you want to speed up the process, there are many at-home remedies to try. Sometimes, rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or a baking soda rinse can ease a canker sore. You can also try dabbing a small amount of milk of magnesia on your canker sore a few times a day. If you do find yourself with a canker sore, it is best to avoid foods that are acidic or spicy as they can further irritate the area.

Canker sores generally don’t require medical treatment, but if you have large or persistent sores that linger, they make require more care. In severe cases, Dr. Jones may prescribe a mouth rinse or other medication to ease pain and inflammation. Sometimes, patients develop canker sores because they are low on nutrients such as folic acid or zinc. In these cases, supplements often fix the problem.

To ask our team any questions about treating canker sores at home or to schedule your next appointment, contact our office today!

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