By Aspen Dental
With summer here, many people can experience canker sores triggered by certain summer foods, such as acidic fruits and vegetables: strawberries, pineapples, oranges, apples, lemons, figs, and tomatoes. Pain caused by canker sores generally lasts only a couple of days, and the sore itself should heal in about a week or two. Here are some ways to treat canker sores if you would like to speed up the healing process: Use an over-the-counter gel medication or patch. The gel is applied directly on top of the canker sore to prevent further irritation. A patch or bandage can be placed over the ulcer to protect it and are made to stick to the inside of the mouth. You can also use a medicated mouth rinse found at drugstores which will clean the area, relieve pain, and help to stop infection. A salt rinse solution is a more natural alternative to a medicated mouth rinse but should not be an exclusive replacement if a medicated mouth rinse is necessary. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and use a soft bristled brush to prevent canker sores from becoming infected. Avoid certain foods which are very acidic, salty, or spicy, hot drinks or food with rough edges that can cause an ulcer to become more irritated and impede the healing process. Another treatment for a canker sore is to simply put ice on it. This can numb some of the pain and discomfort. Make sure to melt the surface of the ice first before placing it directly on the sore. Consult your dentist if you have a canker sore that lasts longer than three weeks or is abnormally painful.