Canker sores are painful, shallow ulcers that usually develop inside the mouth. They are mostly red (inflamed) and can have a white coat over them. Do not confuse them with cold sores, which unlike canker sores, are caused by herpes virus and can be found on the outside of the mouth, on and around the lips.
Treatment, besides antiviral drugs, mostly consists of mouthwashes that have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory compounds and teas and mixtures to help relieve the pain.
Hydrogen peroxide is a compound that is composed only from water and oxygen and it has strong germicidal and antiseptic properties so it is exceptionally effective in killing germs and bacteria inside the mouth. Just dip a piece of cotton swab in in and slowly rub the sore for a couple of seconds. Rinse the moth thoroughly after that without swallowing the mixture.
Magnesium hydroxide, or more commonly known as milk of magnesia, can be used to relieve the pain and help in clearing the ulcers from the mouth. It is applied directly to the sore and used in very small amounts. Be careful when using it, because it has strong laxative properties and in high doses may upset the stomach and cause cramping and diarrhea.
Tetracycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic which can sometimes be used as a mouthwash to prevent growth of bacteria in the mouth and reduce the inflammation and spread of sores. You have to use it carefully with children because it leads to red staining of the teeth and prolonged use the antibiotic may kill off too much competing bacteria, which can cause oral candidiasis as the population of fungi in the mouth rises in their absence.
Any remedy containing glycerin and peroxide can be used to clean the ulcers and ease the discomfort and over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help relieve the pain. Ibuprofen also has strong anti-inflammatory properties so it can be used to fight the infection and reduce the number and size of the sores and the time it needs for them to heal.
Black of green tea and tea made from mint and camomile can also be used to treat canker sores. They contain high levels of compounds called Tannins, which not only give the tea its flavor, but is also a strong antioxidant.
It relieves the pain, reduces inflammation and speeds up the healing process. It can be also found in nuts and cheeses. After preparing the tea, take the tea bag and put in in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes. Take the tea bag and press it gently over the sore for about 20 minutes. Do this three or four times a day until the sores are gone. There is no need for rinsing.
Avoid giving your children sour or spicy foods, food that is too hard or crunchy and chewing gum. Get a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate which is linked to an increased rate of canker sores.