Canker sores are little white ulcers with red borders in the mouth. They infect the tongue, cheeks or inside of the cheeks. Some people suffer from them quite frequently while the others get them rarely. It infects some people for some days while the others have to suffer them for days. There are no known causes of these sores. But heredity can be one of the causes. They are annoying but are not fatal. If you follow some simple tips, you can cut short the infection by 10 – 15 days.
Follow the simple tips given below to treat yourself from these lesions:
• Eat yogurt daily: Have at least five teaspoons of unflavoured yogurt daily. This will help in preventing canker sores in some people.
• Take Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been proved to be very effective at preventing or treating canker sores. It has been shown to help people who smoke and drink a lot and are under a lot of stress. The smokers, the alcoholics and people under stress are more prone to canker sores. Five hundred milligrams a day is the recommended dosage but it is advisable to consult the doctor before taking any supplements. Choose broccoli, red bell pepper cantaloupe and cranberry juice for additional intake of vitamin C. However stop taking these foods once you have the sores because the acids in these foods will irritate the lesions.
• Add some vitamin E: Add some vitamin E: Squeeze some oil from the Vitamin E capsule on your canker sore and relieve the pain.
• Improve your diet: Research has shown that people with canker sores are deficient in folate, iron and vitamin B. You can treat or prevent canker sores by increasing these nutrients in your diet. Peas, beans and lentils provide a good amount of folate; lean beef, tofu and fortified cereals are good sources of iron and meat and seafood are good for vitamin B.
• Use peroxide for gargling: Make a solution of three parts of water and one part hydrogen peroxide. Gargle with this solution or swish it around in your mouth several times a day. It will change the pH of the saliva and make it difficult for the bacteria causing canker sores to survive.
• Use over-the-counter remedy: There are some over-the-counter remedies that you can apply directly to the canker sores. They are sticky substances and will stop the pain and promote healing. There are also some medicated gels and liquids that will help in easing the pain caused by canker sores.
• Stay away from sharp or spicy foods: It is highly advisable to avoid foods that are spicy or salty as they increase the pain caused by the sores. Also avoid foods with sharp edges like potato chips as they can rupture the skin and cause sores. Limit citrus fruits, strawberries, cheese, coffee, nuts and chocolates if you have the tendency to suffer from canker sores.
• Rub away your pain with a teabag: Rubbing a wet teabag over the sore part will help ease the pain caused by the sore. Black tea contains tannin which is an astringent having powerful pain-relieving qualities. If you prefer herbal teas, go for chamomile tea, which cools down the infected skin.
• Use ice: Apply ice on the sore skin to reduce pain and swelling.
• Use antacid: Swish a tablespoon of antacid or milk of magnesia around the mouth to cover the sore. But you have to use this technique only if your ulcer is not infected. When you use the same technique on the infected ulcer, you will protect the bacteria causing infection.