Mouth sores are small ulcer patches that grow on certain areas around the oral cavity. They can appear very red or white, may have a tendency to bleed and can be become infected if left untreated. There are a lot of factors that can lead to mouth sores including poor oral hygiene, viral and bacterial infections, ill-fitting braces and dentures, broken tooth or filling, lack of vitamins and minerals, dehydration, excessive intake of alcohol and cigarette smoking. Mouth sores can be very discomforting and painful--especially when you are eating or drinking. Here are some useful tips to easily get rid of mouth sores.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Topical cream or paste
- Prescription mouthwash
- Maalox or milk of magnesia
- Oral medications
- Nutritional supplements
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Fluoride toothpaste
- Lukewarm water, salt and baking soda
- Petroleum jelly or cocoa butter
Apply some topical paste on your mouth sore. Topical over-the-counter or prescription creams such as fluocinonide (Lidex), amlexanox (Aphthasol) and Orabase can be applied directly on your mouth sore to alleviate pain and speed up healing. Application of these topical creams should be done according to your doctor's advice to avoid further complications.
Rinse your mouth with prescription mouthwash. Prescription mouth rinses containing steroid dexamethasone are usually prescribed by doctors if you have quite a number of mouth sores on different areas of your oral cavity. It helps in decreasing inflammation and also alleviates pain and discomfort. This type of mouthwash should be applied according to your doctor's instructions to prevent unwanted side effects.
Ask your doctor about milk of magnesia (Maalox). This is a potent agent when it comes to treating mouth sores. Pour the solution on a container. Let it stand for a few minutes until its contents are separated. When the pasty part is settled at the bottom, pour the liquid part off and apply the pasty part directly on your sore. Allow the area of your sore to absorb the cream for 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water.
Visit your doctor for some oral medications and supplements. When your mouth sores are persistent and do not respond to other treatments, doctors often prescribe oral drugs to help alleviate your condition. Medications that are used to treat other types of health conditions, such as colchicine (medication for gouty arthritis) and cimetidine (medication for heartburn), may be given to treat severe mouth sores. Doctors will also give you nutritional supplements such as vitamin B-12, folic acid and zinc to help improve your immune system and conquer mouth sores.
Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can soften the bristles of your toothbrush even more by soaking it in hot water before brushing your teeth. Be very gentle when you brush to avoid abrading the area of your mouth sore. If the use of a toothbrush is too painful for you, you can improvise by wrapping a Popsicle stick with a sterile gauze, or purchase some foam mouth swabs to clean your teeth and gums with.
Use appropriate toothpaste to clean your teeth and mouth surfaces. Make sure to apply mild to moderate toothpastes that contain fluoride. Strong types of toothpastes, particularly those that contain hydrogen peroxide for whitening the teeth, should be avoided. These will irritate your mouth sore even more.
Treat your mouth sore using natural solutions after every meal and before going to bed. Fill your mug with lukewarm water. Add 1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of salt. Mix it together, and rinse your mouth with it. Try to hold the solution for a few seconds in your mouth before spitting it out. You can also modify this treatment by doing it separately. Mix baking soda with water until it turns pasty, and apply it on your sore. Then add salt in lukewarm water, and rinse your mouth.
Take your dentures off and clean them between meals to thoroughly cleanse the whole area of your mouth. If the sore is situated under the surface of your dentures, remove your dentures after every meal in order to decreases pressure and prevent further irritation. Make sure to also remove them at night and soak them in an antibacterial solution to keep them sterile. If your sore is due to an ill-fitted set of dentures, try not to wear it during treatment. Go to your dentist or orthodontist to have the dentures adjusted for a proper fit.
Keep your mouth and whole system well hydrated. With your doctor's approval, drink six to eight glasses of water a day to fight dehydration--providing your mouth adequate moisture and allowing your sore to heal fast. As for the area around your lips, you can keep it moisturised by applying some petroleum jelly or cocoa butter on it.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure to always keep your toothbrush clean to avoid contamination from foreign organisms. Soak it in hot water after using, and store it in a dry, clean space. Change it after 2 to 3 months of use or when it starts to splay in order to avoid abrasion on your oral cavity that can lead to mouth sore.
- Avoid eating spicy foods, sweets, acidic fruits and juices, fizzy drinks, cigarette or tobacco and alcohol to promote faster healing of your mouth sore.
- If you have a broken tooth or filling, have your dentist work on it right away. And if you are wearing braces, ask your orthodontist to properly cover any sharp edges to avoid pressure on your gums that can lead to a mouth sore.
- Go to your doctor immediately if pain in your mouth sore is so severe that it hinders your eating, makes swallowing difficult, and if there's bleeding in your oral cavity.