Fix Canker Sores

Diagnosing Canker Sores

Diagnosis of canker sores does not require tests. A simple visual exam by your dentist or doctor is all that is usually required. In some instances, such as if canker sores are ongoing and or severe, other tests may be needed to see if the canker sores are related to other health issues.

Treatment For Canker Sores

Minor canker sores often clear in a week or two, do not usually require treatment. However persistent, or unusually large or painful canker sores do usually need medical attention and care. Several treatments exist including the following:

  • Topicals: Both prescription and over-the-counter products can help reduce pain and speed up the time needed to heal, especially if used right when the canker sores appear. Some of the topical products contain active ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide, Fluocinocide, and Benzocaine. And there are many other kinds of topical products that do not contain active ingredients. It’s best to consult with a health care professional and make sure to check labels if you have any questions.
  • Mouth Rinse: For treating multiple canker sores often a steroidal (dexamethasone) mouth-rinse is prescribed for reducing inflammation and pain.
  • Oral Medication: If canker sores are severe and/or not responding to topical products an oral medication is often prescribed. Consult with your doctor or dentist for appropriate medication.
  • Cautery: For severe pain or slow healing of canker sores sometimes cautery is used. In cautery of the the sores, a chemical (such as Debacterol or Silver Nitrate) or instrument is used for destroying, burning or searing the tissue.
  • Nutritional Supplementation: Sometimes a vitamin deficiency can be the underlying cause for canker sores. If your doctor suspects this, vitamin B12, vitamin B-6 or zinc may be be prescribed.

Home treatments For Canker Sores

Consider the following home treatments to support healing and help with pain from canker sores.

  • Mouth Rinse: Try using a baking soda or salt water rinse ( 1tsp of salt or baking soda to 1/2 cup warm distilled water).
  • Milk of Magnesia: Try using a small dab of milk of magnesia directly on canker sore several times throughout the day.
    Avoid spicy and acidic foods: Try avoiding all abrasive, spicy, and/or acidic foods that can irritate canker sores.
  • Ice: Try slowly dissolving ice chips on the canker sores.
    Gentle Brushing: Try using a soft or extra-soft tooth brush and brushing with a foaming toothpaste.

If you are experiencing multiple or ongoing painful canker sores that won’t heal on their own, seek professional care as soon as possible. To help your doctor or dentist make sure you have a list of any medications you are currently taking, any other medical conditions you may have, as well as a list of any and all symptoms. Usually a canker sore can be diagnosed by it’s appearance, but treatment will vary depending on how severe the pain is, and how long the canker sore (or sores) have lasted.

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