Were you considering letting your canker sore heal on its own? You could be in for a rough week if this is the case. Canker sores are tiny ulcers that occur on the mouth’s soft tissues, such as the lips or gums. These little sores can be a real bother since they make talking, eating, and dental care difficult. Canker sores, unlike cold sores, are not contagious and normally heal independently. A NE Philadelphia dental office can help if you have a larger canker sore or severe suffering.
What causes canker sores?
Canker sores typically appear as circular round ulcers with a white or yellow center and a red border. They form on the interior of the cheeks, lips, tongue, and near the gumline. Canker sores are caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Mouth injury
- Viral infection
- Vitamin or mineral deficiencies
- Food allergies
- Hormonal fluctuations
How long do canker sores last?
Canker sores or aphthous ulcers develop inside the mouth or on the gums. Even though they can be uncomfortable and make it hard to speak or eat, they rarely cause long-term damage. Most canker sores can heal on their own after a few weeks. Many home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can aid healing but are not miracle cures. Any treatment is unlikely to cure a canker sore overnight.
Many canker sore treatments have not been well researched, so proceed cautiously. You can also contact your doctor’s office if you have any questions.
How to soothe canker sores
Over-the-counter medications such as topical anesthetics and antimicrobial mouth rinses are effective at treating canker sores, but they are not your sole option for recovery.
- Avoid citrus
Some foods can create and aggravate canker sores, so avoid them while attempting to recover. Hot, spicy, citrusy, or acidic items can aggravate your sores and worsen them. Eat softer, bland foods like kale, salmon, yogurt, or spinach to soothe the outbreak.
Canker sores can be dried and kept from swelling by rinsing with salt water. Swish one teaspoon of table salt in half a cup of warm water about your mouth for fifteen to thirty seconds before spitting it out. As needed, rinse with salt water.
- Zinc supplements
Vitamin or mineral deficiencies, such as iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, or zinc, can cause canker sores. Zinc tablets not only help minimize the frequency of canker sore development, but they also strengthen your immune system. While taking supplements, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.