Fix Canker Sore

Diagnosing Canker Sores

Typically tests are not needed in the diagnosis of most canker sores. Usually canker sores can be diagnosed easily by your doctor or dentist with just an oral exam. However, there are some cases where more testing might be suggested if other health problems are suspected, or if a canker sore is particularly severe, recurrent, or long lasting.

Canker Sores Treatments

No special treatment is normally needed for minor canker sores. Typically canker sores simply clear on there own in a week or two. But, sometimes canker sores that are unusually painful or large can require some medical care. For these more intensive canker sores, there are treatment options depending on the severity including the following:

  • Mouth Rinse: If a person in experiencing multiple canker sores often a mouth rinse will be prescribed to help reduce and treat pain and inflammation. Prescriptions mouth rinses usually contain the steroid known as dexamethasone. Sometimes, lidocaine will be prescribed in addition, to hep alleviated the pain.
  • Topical Ointments/Products: Over-the-counter and prescription topical products (which can be pastes, liquid, creams, or gels) are also available and can help reduce any pain. If the right topical ointment is applied to a sore right when it appears it can often help speed up the healing time. There are some topical that contain “active ingredients” such as Hydrogen Peroxide, and there are other topical ointments that don't contain any active ingredients. A doctor or dentist can advise which kind of topical product will work best for your specific condition.
  • Oral Meds: If a canker sore has become severe enough that it is not responding to any topical treatment, an oral medication might be prescribed by a doctor or dentist. Depending on the severity and specific condition of a canker sore, sometimes an oral medicine that aren’t actually specifically intended for canker sore treatment might be used (i.e. Colchicine which is typically used for treating gout might be prescribed). Oral steroid meds might also be tried in some cases, but because they can have significant side effects, these are usually considered a last result.
  • Cautery: In cautery, chemical substances are used to destroy, or burn the tissues in and surrounding the canker sores. One chemical that can be used is a substance called Debacterol, which is actually a topical medicine that is used to treat canker sores and gum problems. In chemical cauterizing of canker sores a medicine may help reduce the amount of healing time needed. Silver nitrate is an alternative chemical used in treatment for canker sores to help reduce pain, but it is not known to speed up healing time.
  • Supplements: Supplements and/or vitamins are sometimes recommended and/or prescribed by doctors and dentists if they suspect nutritional deficiency, which can be an underlying cause for some canker sores. These supplements often include Vitamin B-6. B-12, folate, and zinc.

If a doctor or dentist is concerned that canker sores are related to more significant health issues, further consultation, testing and/or treatments may be necessary.

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