July 11, 2013

How To Treat Canker Sores

Home Remedies

If you don't want to wait out the one or two weeks it usually takes for the sores to go away, these home remedies can help relieve pain and speed healing:  
  • Rinse with salt water (one teaspoon in an 8 ounce glass of warm water), or baking soda (one teaspoon in a half cup warm water), or a mixture of 1 part benedryl to either 1 part Kaopectate or 1 part Maalox.  Be sure to spit out the mixtures after rinsing.  
  • You can dab a small amount of milk of magnesia on the sore a few times a day.  Professional treatment might include a prescription mouth rinse containing the steroid dexamethasone to reduce pain and inflammation.  
  • Topical pastes with active ingredients such as benzocaine (Anbesol), amlexanox (Aphthasol) and fluodinonide (Lidex, Vanos) can help relieve pain and speed healing if applied to individual sores as soon as they appear, and then two to four times a day until they heal.  
  • Heartburn medications (Tagamet) may be helpful.  

Other Treatment Options

Sometimes, the sore is cauterized (burned, seared or destroyed) with an instrument or chemical solution.  Debacterol is a topical solution designed to treat canker sores and gum problems.  Nutritional supplements (folic acid, B-6, B-12, or zinc) may be prescribed.  If your canker sores relate to a more serious health problem, the underlying condition must be explored.  

Source:  Mayo Clinic  

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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