Do you have a little white bump on your tongue or the inside of your mouth? That’s called a canker sore. These painful, round mouth sores can appear in several places, including the inside of your lips or cheeks, on your tongue, at the base of the gums or on the roof of your mouth. Canker sores aren’t contagious, and they typically show up in people between 10 and 20 years old.
The cause of canker sores is unknown, though it is believed that they can be trigged by emotional stress, menstruation or a mouth injury. Citrus or acidic foods can also cause canker sores or make existing ones more painful. When you have a canker sore, you may experience pain for two or three days, and most go away after a couple of weeks.
Canker sores usually heal on their own without the need for treatment, and there are things you can do to reduce the discomfort:
- Coconut oil. Using a cotton swab, put a generous amount of coconut oil onto the sore. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in providing canker sore relief.
- Chamomile tea bag. In addition to helping you relax, chamomile is also a good home remedy for canker sores. Chamomile contains a chemical compound called bisabolol that has been shown to minimize inflammation and serve as an antiseptic. To reduce canker sore pain and promote healing, soak a chamomile teabag in water for one minute and apply it directly to the sore for five to ten minutes twice a day.
- Yogurt. Yogurt is made by using bacteria or yeast to convert carbohydrates into organic acids, resulting in a tangy, delicious flavor. Yogurt may help because it balances out bacteria in your mouth and protects against the formation of canker sores.
- Warm salt water. Swishing with warm salt water can greatly diminish canker sore pain because it reduces swelling, keeps the area clean and produces a general sense of relief.
When To Call the Doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:
- A sore larger than one-half inch
- Getting more canker sores now than you used to
- Getting canker sores more often than before
- Experiencing other symptoms like rash, joint pain, fever or diarrhea
To learn more about dealing with canker sores, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you. To schedule an appointment, please contact Scott T. LeSueur, DDS & Charles A Dodaro, DDS online or by calling our Mesa office at (480) 834-6991 today. We serve Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and all surrounding Arizona communities.