Fix Canker Sores

For patients who suffer from canker sores, there is fortunately not a test which is required for a diagnosis. Dentists can typically identify the sores through a simple visual exam. The dentist may perform some testing to identify the presence of other types of health issues. Testing for another health issue is common if the patient’s canker sores are severe or chronic.


For cases of minor canker sores, treatment is not typically required. The sores will most often be resolved on their own in about a week or two. However, medical intervention may be necessary if the patient is experiencing large, persistent or extremely painful sores. In more serve canker sore cases, there are various treatments available which are outlined below.


Mouth Rinse

In cases where there are multiple active canker sores, the dentist may prescribe patients with a mouth rinse containing dexamethasone, which is a steroid. This aids in reducing pain and inflammation. Lidocaine can also be used to help minimize the pain.


Topical Treatment

Over-the-counter and prescription products can also be used to help relieve pain from canker sores. These are often in the form of a paste, cream, gel or liquid. These topical products can aid in expediting the healing time when they are applied at the initial eruption of a canker sore. Some of these topical products contain the active ingredients listed below:


  • Benzocaine
  • Fluocinonide
  • Hydrogen Peroxide


Oral Medications


In cases of severe canker sores or when they fail to respond to other types of treatments, the dentist may recommend the use of an oral medication. Some of the most common oral medications which are used for canker sores include:


  • Oral steroid medications are used when severe canker sores do not respond to other solutions. Because of the serious side effects associated with steroids, this is usually considered a last resort.
  • Other medications which are not specifically designed for treating canker sores can also be used. This includes intestinal ulcer treatment sucralfate (Carafate), a medication which is used as a coating agent. Colchicine may also be used, which is often used to treat gout.



During the cautery of a canker sore, a chemical substance or instrument burns, sears or destroys the impacted tissue.


  • Debacterol is a topical solution which is designed to treat gum issues and canker sores. With the chemical cautery of the canker sore, the healing time can be cut down to about a week.
  • Silver nitrate can also be used for the chemical cautery of canker sores. While it may not expedite the healing time, it aids in relieving the pain from canker sores.


Nutritional Supplements

Some dentist prescribe nutritional supplements which may include folate (folic acid), vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, or zinc to treat canker sores.


Related Issues

In cases where the patient is experiencing canker sores from another serious health issue, the doctor or dentist will first need to treat the underlying issue prior to dealing with the canker sores.


At-home Remedies and Lifestyle Modifications


Below are some remedies and tips which can be used to help relieve pain and expedite the healing time for those who are suffering from canker sores:


  • Apply ice to the canker sores by allowing it to melt in the mouth and consume ice water
  • Avoid the consumption of abrasive, acidic or spicy foods which can cause additional irritation and pain to existing canker sores
  • Be gentle with brushing, use a soft toothbrush, and use a specially designed sensitive toothpaste
  • Blot a bit of milk of magnesia on the canker sore throughout the day
  • Rinse with mouth with a salt water or baking soda rinse (dissolve 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1/2 cup of warm water)


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