Preventing canker sores is important for people who have problems with developing aphthous ulcers on a frequent basis. The best ways to manage and limit your canker sore outbreaks include:
- Addressing nutritional deficiencies (iron, vitamin B, folate)
- Using an antimicrobial mouth rinse such as one that contains essential oil to manage bacteria in the mouth
- Addressing dietary needs such as avoiding gluten
- Managing stress and anxiety
- Improving your immune system through diet, exercise and adequate rest
Most dental and medical professionals recommend treating canker sores by simply allowing them to heal on their own. If canker sores are frequent and happen more than normal, you will want to get rid of canker sores fast. In severe cases, dentists may prescribe mouthwash for canker sores or lysine for you to have on hand for another outbreak. Cold sores, which are viral, may require expensive prescription medication to help alleviate discomfort and appearance of the sore. Some of these medications include prescription gel, prescription antimicrobial mouthwash and steroids.
Alternative in-office canker sore treatment may also include:
- Laser therapy
- Mucosal bandage
Be sure to use pure botanical oils while brushing and rinsing in order to kill the bad bacteria that cause gum problems.
Most remedies for canker sores are those that you can use on your own. To get rid of canker sores and limit discomfort you can:
- Avoid trigger foods (gluten, citrus).
- Use an antimicrobial rinse, such as one that contains an essential oil.
- Apply healing essential oils to the area using a cotton swab.
- Apply Aloe Vera gel to the wound.
- Rinse with a solution containing milk of magnesia and liquid antihistamine for topical pain relief. Do not swallow.
- Dab the ulcer with a cotton swab soaked in one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water.
- Rinse with salt water solution and cover canker sore with baking soda.
More Facts About Canker Sores
Canker sores can be caused by various triggers such as irritation or trauma to the area, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, stress or anxiety. Actual canker sores are not contagious. However, cold sores, which are viral in nature, can spread the virus through saliva such as when sharing food or kissing.
Canker sores are not herpetic in nature, but cold sores are from a strain of the herpes virus. Before you become alarmed, the herpes virus also causes chickenpox and
shingles. It is a different strain than that often associated with the STD.
Most canker sores heal within 10 to 14 days. Sores that last longer than this should be examined by a professional to make sure its not something serious. Some recurrent sores may be due to underlying systemic conditions like food sensitivities (gluten or acidic foods) or triggered by stress and anxiety.
Cold sores are viral in nature, and usually triggered by illness, stress or sunlight. The virus exists in the body and cold sores can only appear in people who have
the virus. Canker sores on the other hand are usually from an irritant, stress or dietary reason and are not caused by a virus.
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