How to treat common canker sores: treatments and natural remedies

treating mouth ulcers

Canker sores are small lesions that usually appear on the oral mucosa. They form inside the mouth, on the inside of the cheek, gumstongue, throat or palate. Generally harmless, canker sores resolve naturally after a few days. However, they can be a nuisance in everyday life, and even painful. Fortunately, there are remedies and treatments to cure mouth ulcers quickly. Find out how to prevent mouth ulcers and how to get rid of them.

Why do we get mouth ulcers?

Mouth ulcers are a common, non-contagious medical condition. It is a superficial ulceration that affects 15 to 30 % of the population, mostly women and young people. It is easily recognized by its white or yellowish surface surrounded by a red line. 

In general, canker sores grow on their own and heal spontaneously in 2 to 5 days. Nevertheless dentists in Fribourg also observe giant (10 to 50 millimeters in diameter) or multiple canker sores in patients' mouths. This is known as aphthosis, and treatment takes longer. Surgery may be necessary. 

These oral lesions cause an unpleasant burning sensation. Depending on their location, they can interfere with chewing or swallowing, but do not cause fever or bleeding. The causes of mouth ulcers vary. Some people are genetically predisposed. In other cases, oral hygiene, diet and physical activity can all play a role.power supplyThe use of drugs and certain bad habits are triggering factors. 

Symptoms of mouth ulcers can resemble other pathologies. They can be confused with erythema multiforme, herpes, pemphigus or even oral cancer. That's why you need to consult a professional who specializes in oral pathologies. Dermatologist or dentist in Lausannehe'll be able to make the right diagnosis.

How can I prevent mouth ulcers?

The best treatment for mouth ulcers is prevention. The onset of mouth ulcers can be prevented. To do this, follow these recommendations:

  • Brush thoroughly at least twice a day.
  • Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and don't force it.
  • Use a Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-free toothpaste (SLS). This very common foaming agent is said to promote the appearance of canker sores.
  • Limit consumption of certain foods associated with mouth ulcers, including spices, strawberries, nuts, shellfish, Gruyère cheese and apples.
  • Do not chew on the inside of cheeks or on objects such as pen caps.
  • Avoid anything likely to cause injury inside the oral cavity. 
  • Pay attention to dental prostheses poorly positioned.

If you are prone to mouth ulcers, the maintaining good oral hygiene is essential. Try to identify the products that cause these undesirable reactions and banish them from your diet. If in doubt, consult your dentist to check that your dentures fit properly.

What treatments are available for mouth ulcers?

Drug treatments

Benign canker sores are treated locally in a variety of ways:

  • mouthwash 
  • anesthetic gel
  • oral spray
  • antibacterial, antiseptic or anaesthetic tablets
  • tablets
  • ointment

These options help prevent superinfection and speed healing. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for the right treatment.

Herbal treatments

Natural remedies for mouth ulcers often include licorice and myrrh. Both are renowned for their antiseptic properties and are commonly used to treat mouth and throat infections. Basil leaves can also be chewed or infused 3 times a day.

Treating recurrent canker sores

Do you suffer from recurring mouth ulcers? If so, your dentist will prescribe a general treatment. The drugs include various molecules that soothe pain, accelerate healing and prevent recurrence.

HELVIDENT welcomes you to one of our three dental practices in Fribourg, Lausanne and Aigle. Don't hesitate to make an appointment with one of our dentists, orthodontists or dental hygienists.