Preventive Dentist's Tips on Treating Canker SoresOuch! When did chips and salsa start hurting so badly? If acidic foods are suddenly causing you pain, you could have a cold sore. They are actually very common, for both kids and adults. And while they are not generally a reason to see the general dentist or doctor, they can certainly be annoying and quite painful. Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter options for treating a cold sore, so that you can get back to enjoying mealtime and more!

What Caused That Canker Sore?

Unlike cold sores, which have a known cause, canker sores remain a medical mystery. Doctors have not identified exactly what causes general canker sores. But, they do believe there are some contributing factors:

  • Stress
  • Food sensitivities
  • Fluctuations in hormones
  • Viral Infections
  • Trauma to the lining of the mouth

How to Treat Your Canker Sore

It’s important to note that most canker sores will go away without treatment, within two weeks. But if they do not, or you have a particularly painful sore or are experiencing them frequently, you may want to talk to your dentist about possible treatments. Your general doctor may also be able to provide a treatment plan.

For most people, though, there are simple measures that can be taken at-home, to help the canker sore heal even faster, and to alleviate the discomfort in the meantime.

Taking Vitamin B complex, Lysine or Vitamin C could help improve your body’s ability to heal. Echinacea, sage and chamomile may also help.

Doctors have found that some patients benefit from eating cantaloupe, carrots and celery. And zinc lozenges can also provide temporary relief.

Finally, it’s easy to make a simple mouth rinse that can help treat the canker sore. Just mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water, then rinse thoroughly. Be careful not to swallow any. Then, follow it up by applying a small amount of milk of magnesia directly to the canker sore.