Monday, June 16, 2008

Canker Sores

Canker sores are medically known as aphthous ulcers. They thrive inside your mouth on the wet tissues of your tongue and cheeks. It will start out as a small red wound and quickly grows into a white painful ulcer. There is no way to speed up the process of healing the ulcer, but there are ways you can ease the pain and help it heal steadily.

  • Tingle Time: When you feel the first tingle of a canker sore open a vitamin E capsule and squeeze some of the oil on the sore.
  • Nip it: Use a styptic pencil, this will stop the development of a big ulcer. It has an active ingredient called astringent alum, which dries out the sore.
  • Use Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are antiseptics that kill germs. They are both available over the counter. Apply them several times a day, but be sure not to use too much peroxide because it can cause burning.
  • Salt water soothes: Mix a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and swish around in your mouth for a minute. This helps clean the tissue around the sore and will help it heal and temporarily relieves the pain. You can also use water mixed with baking soda.
  • Numb it: Using over the counter anesthetic gels that contain benzocaine, phenol, camphor, or menthol can help numb the sore. Apply as needed.
  • Tea time: Soak a cloth or piece of gauze in cool tea and hold it on your canker sore for a few minutes. This will help ease the burning and itching. You can use a wet tea bag as well but make sure it is real tea and not a herb tea. It's the astringent in black tea that does the trick.
  • Got milk: Rinse your mouth with some cold milk before eating. The milk will coat the sore and make eating less painful.
  • Eat yogurt: Yogurt is a natural healer for canker sores. Eat most of the yogurt and then put the last tablespoon in your mouth and swish around.

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