Canker sores of mouth ulcers are a pretty common disorder that causes a great deal of discomfort by appearing on the soft tissues in the mouth, effectively making it difficult to eat, drink and sometimes talk. They usually disappear even without any specific treatment, but some remedies may be needed for pain relief and to promote healing in more serious recurring cases.
Canker sores appear as small, round white to yellow lesions encircled by inflamed red edge and surface predominantly inside the cheeks and lips, on the gums, tongue and the soft palate. They are not the same as cold sores which appear only on the outside of the mouth and are highly infectious. Not much is known about the cause of canker sores, but there are conditions that are linked to their occurrence, such as infections, impaired immune system, high levels of stress, imbalance in the hormones, lack of specific vitamins and minerals, dental work and injury to the mouth. Canker sores mostly affect teenagers, young adults and women, and there is a high chance of getting them if one or both of your parents had them. They typically heal after two weeks.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a natural mouth wash because it has strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and even antiseptic, so it is exceedingly useful in take care of canker sores. You can apply it to the affected area by dipping a cotton swab in 1% hydrogen peroxide and slowly rubbing the sore for a few seconds. When you are done rubbing, mix equal amounts of water and peroxide and use the mixture to rinse the mouth. You can do this three to four times a day, or after every meal. It the peroxide is stronger than the recommended 1%, you need to dilute it with water before using it.
You can also make a mixture using 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of salt and using it as a mouth rinse a couple of times a day. It acts as a disinfectant and helps the sores heal faster. You may use warm water, because the salt will dissolve faster.
Milk of magnesia may be used small doses to help get rid of the sores and reduce the irritation. Using a cotton swab apply it directly on the sore, but don’t forget to rinse the mouth afterwards.
Your dentist or a doctor can prescribe a corticosteroid mouth wash or antimicrobial mouth ointment or give you a prescription for over-the-counter pain relief such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a great at relieving pain and has anti-inflammatory properties that can decrease the swelling. Corticosteroid mouth washes are typically used twice a day.
Over-the-counter pain relieving gels usually contain an active ingredient benzocaine and some can even create a protective coating over the canker sore.
If the sores do not heal in two weeks or occur frequently throughout the year, contact your dentist or a doctor. Also be careful when brushing your teeth, do it gently and use a soft bristled toothbrush.