Canker Sores: How To Treat Them

Some canker sores need more complicated and a number of options for treatment. These canker sores are usually severe and do not go away for weeks and might stay up until a month if not given proper medical attention.

canker sore behind the lower lip

Canker sores are easily identifiable by doctors. They might factor in some symptoms, but most of their diagnosis is through external observation. The signs are usually taken in to account to rule out more underlying medical issues. Severe canker sores though have a more complicated diagnosis than regular canker sores.

How Do You Treat Canker Sores?

Normal and mild canker sores do not need to be treated. These sores usually fade away in just a week given that you do not exacerbate the sores by eating spicy o acidic types of foods. However, some canker sores need more complicated and a number of options for treatment. These canker sores are usually severe and do not go away for weeks and might stay up until a month if not given proper medical attention. So what are these treatment options for a severe canker sore?

Optional Treatments For Severe Canker Sores

Mouth Rinse

At the onset of a severe canker sore, your doctor will let you have a mouth rinse of dexamethasone or lidocaine first. This serves as an antiseptic agent for your canker sores; to rid them of further infection. A mouth rinse with these products will also help provide a clean surrounding for your canker sores, discouraging a new occurrence of a canker sore. A mouth rinse with these products also helps in reducing inflammation, redness, pain, and other more disturbing symptoms.

Topical Medical Treatment

There are topical medicines to which you can help yourselves in drugstores. These medicines are over the counter topical treatments. They are in several types in forms like gels, powder, creams, and so on and so forth) but all are relatively effective. Apply them in the clean affected area and let them sit there for hours. Instructions are written in the small instruction paper inside the package; be mindful of these instructions. Look for brands that are credible, safe, proven, and tested. Another thing to look at is the active ingredient it has. Below is the list of active ingredients that are proven effective for a severe canker sore.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide
  2. Fluocinonide
  3. Benzocaine

These active ingredients are the most common ingredients in relieving symptoms of a canker sore. However, there are products for canker sores with no active ingredients at all but are equally effective to those with active ingredients in them. For the best option of topical medical treatment for your condition, you can get a recommendation from your doctor.

Oral Treatment

Oral treatments are usually the last resort when the preceding medical treatments do not work for your canker sores. These oral treatments are usually in the form of pills, capsules and solidified gels. Some of these oral treatments are not meant specifically for a canker sore and might be meant for something else but this does not imply that they do not work for canker sores. These indirect oral treatments are in the form of:

  1. Carafate
  2. Colchicine (normally used for gout plagued patients)
  3. Steroid Medications

You can procure direct canker sore oral treatments too given that the doctor has prescribed it to you.


This the last stage of the severity of a canker sore. If nothing in the preceding treatments mentioned are effective and your canker sore remains to be in the severe state, cautery is usually suggested by a doctor. Cautery aims to destroy the tissue that has canker. The destruction of the tissue process is in the form of burning, searing and the likes of it. Stated below is the basic forms of cauterizing a canker sore:

  • Debacterol: Debacterol is a chemical used to cauterize a severe canker sore. It applied in areas where a canker sore is present like the gums and other areas inside the mouth. This type of treatment fastens the healing time in about a week.
  • Silver Nitrate: Silver nitrate is another chemical that can be used to cauterize a canker sore tissues. This cauterization process heals the canker sore at a faster pace too.

Added Treatment Options


Other reasons in which you get those nasty canker sores all the time is the low-level nutrients that are essential to your physical development. These nutrients are folate, B-6 vitamin, B-12 vitamin, and zinc. Deficiency in these nutrients might lead to canker sores. To prevent this, you can take up oral supplements that can augment these deficiencies.

Canker Sores and the Underlying Medical Issues

Canker sores usually come out due to innocent causes like a deficiency in some nutrients mentioned in the preceding paragraph, in your environment, or with a weird food that you have indulged in recently. However, some canker sores especially severe canker sores might be a sign or an indication of other serious underlying medical conditions. To get an accurate reading in your current health condition, it is better to get tested by a doctor. He or she will help rule out the possibility of an underlying serious medical condition and possibly your anxiety.

Home remedies for canker sore

Other Remedies for Canker Sores

These remedies can be done at home and some of these recommended lifestyles are just a bit of tweaking to your current one. The options that are listed here can be of supplementary value to your medical treatment for canker sores.

  • Mouthwash: Dilute salt or baking soda in lukewarm water and use this concoction to gargle.
  • Milk Magnesia: Milk of magnesia can help fasten the healing period of your canker sores. Dab the milk of magnesia in your canker sores several times a day or as long as you want it.
  • Avoid Abrasive Food: Foods that are acidic and spicy are abrasive and might worsen the condition of your canker sores. It might add to irritation, inflammation, and pain.
  • Ice: Applying ice to your canker sores is a way of numbing your painful canker sores. Slowly dissolve the ice in your mouth.
  • Clean your Teeth, Tongue, and Insides of your Mouth Regularly: Brush your teeth, tongue, and insides of your mouth regularly. Gently do all this with the use of a soft-bristled brush and chemically non-abrasive toothpaste.

Prep-Up Before your Appointment

There is no elaborate preparation before you go and see your doctor. However, you need to be prepared for some certain things:

Gather Your Facts

Before you get tested your doctor will usually get your anecdotal and questions you on the following. So it is better to note a few things about the general questionings of the physician.


The doctor will ask the current symptoms that you feel (the severity of the pain or what time does it seem the pain to worsen). The doctor will also ask about these symptom’s timelines (when it started, when it worsened, or when it mellowed). Doctors are pretty thorough in asking questions about your symptoms so try to be patient in answering all of their questions. Be truthful as much as possible.


The doctor will also get out from you all the substances that you have taken before and since the onset of your canker sores. These substances include all supplementary pills, over the counter medications, maintenance, and so on.

Medical Condition

The doctor will ask too of your known medical conditions and issues. Be truthful as possible because this might let the doctor connect the dots and be enlightened about your condition more.

Other Questions

Your doctor will ask for some personal information about your life like lifestyle habits, sudden lifestyle changes, emotional state, stress, and many more questions. Your doctors will particularly ask if you have had these past canker sore attacks before or what usually triggers there occurrence. The doctors will also ask your dental works history, your typical diet, and your overall medical history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *