Mouth sores such as canker sores aren't necessarily something you have to seek medical treatment for. While we do encourage you to come in if you have a sore that persists for several weeks or is incredibly painful, most sores can be treated at home and will go away on their own after a week or so.
Those that are large or persistent, however, likely will need treatment. Here are a few things you can do at home to ease the discomfort of mouth sores.
Mouthwash, especially those that do not contain alcohol, will keep your mouth clean and can prevent mouth sores from getting infected. They may also help reduce the pain from the sores and any inflammation.
If you don't have any mouthwash, you can rinse your mouth out with warm salt water or with a rinse made of one teaspoon baking soda and half a cup of water. These rinses promote healing and help kill bacteria that may be in the sore.
Suck on Ice or Frozen Treats
Sucking (not chewing or biting) on ice chips can help relieve some of the pain, too. Let the ice fully dissolve in your mouth without banging it around on your teeth. If you bite on it or chew it; you can damage your teeth! Some sugar-free ice cream can also help relieve pain by cooling down the area around the sore.
Don't Eat Spicy Foods
Some foods, especially spicy foods and highly acidic foods, can irritate mouth sores. Do your best to avoid eating these foods while dealing with mouth sores.
On the other hand, there are some juices that can help soothe the sore and promote healing. Cantaloupe, celery, and carrot juices have been known to soothe mouth sores.
If your sore persists for more than several weeks, is larger than normal or gets larger, or is extremely painful, do not hesitate to call us. While small sores aren't usually dangerous, these larger or more painful sores can be an indication of a larger problem that needs treatment.