Fix Canker Sores

If you suffer from chronic canker sores or have one once and while, there is no test the dentist needs to perform to diagnose the issue. In fact, you probably do not even need to visit the dentist to know that you have a canker sore. Typically, they are recognized by their appearance alone with a simple visual inspection. You may want to consult a dentist or doctor if you do not experience relief from the lesions, if they are severe, or if they are persistent. In those instances, canker sores can be an indicator of other health problems so the health professional can run tests to determine if you have a more serious cause.


When your canker sore is small in size or does not affect deeper tissues in the mouth, the wound will heal on its own without any additional treatment. Most of the time, your mouth will return to normal after a week or two. When the canker sore is not as minor and is larger in size or affects deeper tissues, there are a number of treatments available to reduce the pain and help them clear up. For people with ongoing canker sores or extremely painful ones, the following treatment options are helpful.

Nutritional Supplements

Canker sores may be the result of a folate or folic acid, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 or zinc deficiency. The dentist may suggest an over the counter supplement or even prescribe you one to improve these levels in your body.

Topical Products

There both over the counter as well as prescription gels, pastes, liquids and creams that can reduce pain with numbing agents or anti-inflammatory ingredients. These topical products can also help heal your canker sores more quickly if they are used as soon as they start to appear in your mouth. The active ingredients include benzocaine, fluocinonide, and hydrogen peroxide; if your topical product does not list one of these ingredients, you still may find them helpful. Benzocaine is usually found in products like Orabase, Kank-A, Zilactin-B, an Anbesol. Fluocinonide is found in products like Vanos and Lidex and hydrogen peroxide is found in Peroxyl and Orajel Antiseptic Mouth Sore Rinse. Please consult with the dentist or your doctor about which product might bring you relief from your canker sores.

Mouth Rinses

When you have more than one canker sore in your mouth and you have had an exam by your doctor or dentist, a prescription for a mouth rinse with a steroid might be the best treatment plan. The anti-inflammatory and pain reducing effects from dexamethasone can alleviate your discomfort. The mouth rinse may include an ingredient like lidocaine to numb your mouth to decrease your pain from the sores.

Oral medications

If you have tried topical treatments and are still suffering, the dentist or doctor may prescribe an oral medication. Medications that treat intestinal ulcers, like sucralfate, are helpful in treating canker sores. Also, the medication colchicine is typically for gout treatment but can provide relief for mouth sores. Finally, the dentist or doctor may offer a steroid medication as a last resort if other treatments aren’t working.

Cautery of Sores

When the dentist cauterizes tissue in your mouth, the dentist is using an instrument or a chemical to burn or destroy tissue. While this sounds extreme, the dentist can use a topical solution like Debacterol to treat your sores and reduce healing time to about a week. Another chemical silver nitrate can help with the pain but may not help heal the sores any faster.

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