By Cody Frank
Canker sores (officially known as aphthous ulcers) are small shallow lesions that show up on the soft tissues in your mouth (inside of cheeks) or at the base of your gums. Be careful not to confuse canker sores with cold sores. Cold sores (Herpes) appear on the surface of your lips and are contagious. Canker sores are prone to be painful which make talking and eating difficult.
Most canker sores disappear after a week or two. If you have unusually large or painful canker sores that are not healing it is smart to check with your doctor. Below are some remedies to help ease that pain as it’s healing.
1. Mix equal amounts of Milk of Magnesia (or Kaopectate) and Benylin (Or Benadryl). Both liquids contain ingredients that coat wet tissues. Benylin and Benadryl act as a mild topical anesthetic and antihistamines. Which will help numb the pain and reduce inflammation. Apply mixture to your canker sore using a cotton swab. Caution: do not swallow the misture, becase you could numb the reflex that keeps your windpipe closed when you swallow.
2. Purchase over-the-counter antiseptic creams, mouthwashes, and lozenges as a local pharmacy to help relieve pain. Try products such as Orabase that contain Benzocaine. This covers the sore like an oral bandage and help prevent infection. Products with xylocaine can ease the pain as well.
3. Eat some cayenne. This pepper contains capsaicin that briefly desensitizes the nerves that causes pain. Word to the wise, this pepper can be irritating to a few people instead of helpful.
4. A quick fix is to rinse your mouth with ice water or put an ice cube on your sore. This will give you immediate temporary relief.
5. Use a rinse. You can dab on some aloe from your aloe plant several times a day. Aloe has natural healing powers.
Another rinse is to combine combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 ounces hydrogen peroxide. Mix and rinse your mouth with it four times daily.
A third rinse uses sage. Add 3 teaspoons sage leaves to 1 pint boiling water. Steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Rinse your mouth with the liquid several times a day. You can also rub sage leaves into a powder and apply them directly to your sore.
6. If none of these help the pain, you can always take an aspirin to take your mind off it. Remember to not brush your sore or eat irritating foods as well that could increase the pain.
Hopefully one of these will ease the pain of your canker sore and it will be healing in no time. Remember a healthy diet (stay away from any foods you may have an allergy to, ingesting your daily vitamins & minerals, and being less stressed will help prevent those canker sores from reoccurring.
Cover photo via Delta Dental Blog.