Canker sores are shallow ulcers. They first appear in the mouth as small red patches and later on develop a white or yellowish area in the middle.
What Causes Canker Sores
Canker sores are common yet their exact cause remains unknown. They are often associated with injuries in the mouth, stress, and hormonal changes.
Wearing dental appliances such as braces can also trigger canker sores as the sharp tooth surface irritates the mouth. Underlying health conditions such as a weakened immune system can also cause canker sores to develop.
A canker sore can last for a week and cause difficulties when you’re eating, drinking, or speaking. You may want to avoid or lessen your intake of citrus fruits when you see signs of a canker sore.
Treating Canker Sores from Home
Canker sores can be treated from home. Here are remedies you can try:
- Warm salt water. Gargle with warm salt water to help numb the canker sore. Be aware that this can cause a stinging sensation at first but it should offer relief right after. The process helps sanitize the area and also reduces swelling of the canker sore.
- Baking soda. The acid content in food only irritates canker sores. Baking soda is known as alkaline and hence can fight off acids and help heal the sore faster. Simply dissolve the baking soda in a half cup of warm water. Use the mixture to rinse your mouth.
- Coconut oil. Coconut oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. To apply, you can use your finger or a cotton swab. Simply dab coconut oil on the affected area. The thicker the layer you can apply the better. Unfortunately, the temperature inside your mouth will melt the oil causing it to flow off the sore. You can thicken the coconut oil by mixing it with beeswax prior to application.
- Honey. Like coconut oil, honey is as well antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Dab honey on the area to help ease the burning sensation. Make sure, though, to rinse your mouth with warm water first. Do this two or three times a day, after eating or before going to bed at night so the honey has more chance to stick around longer.
- Tea Bag. Like baking soda, tea is also alkaline and capable of countering the irritating effects of acids. Tea can also help ease pain brought on by the canker sore. Place the damp tea bag on the canker sore for around 5 to 10 minutes. Do this twice a day. This should help heal the wound faster.
When Should You Call Dental Professional in Carstairs
See your dentist if your canker sore still does not heal after one week. If it continues to grow larger and even spreads, this may already be a sign of another dental issue.
For more information about canker sores, visit us at the Carstairs Family Dental office.