How to Heal Canker Sores

June 3 2022 by Mills Haven Dental

How to Healh Canker Sores - Mills Haven Dental

A canker sore, known medically as an aphthous ulcer, is a shallow lesion in your mouth. Usually, they look like a yellow or white abscess, surrounded by a red border.

Most of the time, a canker sore isn’t the biggest deal. They might make you feel minor discomfort and clear up on their own in a few days, but every now and then… a canker sore just doesn’t want to go away.

Keep reading to find out what to do when you have a pesky and painful canker sore.

Avoid Making It Worse

Canker Sores - MH Dental

If your canker sore won’t clear up on its own, try reducing or eliminating anything that might make it worse. Here are a few pieces of advice:

  1. Lay off spicy or acidic foods for a few days.
  2. Avoid the area while brushing your teeth.
  3. Do NOT touch it with your fingers or tongue.

Try At-Home Remedies

If leaving your canker sore alone doesn’t seem to be working, you can try some at-home remedies to clear it up.

Many people find success by using a saltwater rinse for several seconds, multiple times a day. Regular old table salt will do the trick; just dissolve ½ a teaspoon of salt in a cup of distilled water.

You can also use everyday painkillers to take away some discomfort; we find ibuprofen to be helpful.

See Your Medical Professional

If two weeks have gone by and you haven’t seen an improvement in your canker sore (or it’s worsened), it’s time to see a medical professional.

Let your doctor know that your canker sore has been giving you a hard time. Your doctor may be able to help you determine what’s causing your canker sore. They’re often caused by hormonal changes or stress.

After a quick physical exam, they may prescribe you some help, including:

Your dentist will also be able to help you find out if there is something in your mouth causing the canker sore. If anything has changed with your smile, like a tooth shift or crack, it could agitate the sensitive skin in your mouth and cause a canker sore. 

Contact the Mills Haven Dental team if you have a pesky canker sore!