Canker Sores: Treatment and Prevention

 

You can’t help but hate these things, right? We agree and that’s why we put a series of tips together to help you treat and prevent these little buggers.

Cross Timbers ENT has patients who come in complaining about the pain of their canker sores. These canker sores are also called aphthous ulcers. They are lesions in the mouth and are some of the most common causes of mouth pain. A canker sore is not the same as a fever blister. Canker sores are usually less than 1 centimeter in sixe and oval shaped.

No one is certain what exactly causes canker sores. Some believe canker sores may be linked to problems with the body’s immune system or possibly some of the following conditions:

  • Mouth injury from dental work
  • Cleaning the teeth too roughly
  • Biting the tongue or cheek
  • Emotional stress
  • Lack of certain vitamins and minerals in the diet (especially iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Food allergies

 

Anyone can develop a canker sore, but women are more likely to get them than men. Canker sores may also run in families.

 

In most cases, the canker sores go away without treatment.  Some of the steps a patient may try are as follows:

 

  • Try not to eat hot or spicy foods, which can cause pain.
  • Use over-the-counter medicines that ease pain in the area.
  • Rinse your mouth with mild, over-the-counter mouthwashes or salt water.
  • Apply a mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and half water directly to the sore using a cotton swab. Follow by dabbing a small amount of Milk of Magnesia on the canker afterward. Repeat these steps 3-4 times a day.
  • Rinse your mouth with a mixture of half Milk of Magnesia and half Benadryl liquid allergy medicine. Swish mixture in the mouth for about 1 minute, then spit out.

 

Your Cross Timbers physician may also try medical treatments to help alleviate your symptoms such as a Chlorhexidine mouthwash or Corticosteroids that are placed on the sore or taken in pill form.

If you are experiencing canker sores along with the aggravating and sometimes debilitating affects, please contact Cross Timbers at our Mansfield or Arlington location and set up an appointment for one of our caring physicians to diagnose and treat you.