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Canker sore treatment

Alternative Names: Treatment - canker sores

Information

Question:

How can you treat painful canker sores in your mouth?

Answer:

The easiest home remedy is to apply hydrogen peroxide with a cotton swab on the canker sore (1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water). Then dab a small amount of milk of magnesia on the canker sore 3-4 times a day. This is not only soothing, but it appears to help healing.

Another home remedy is to mix equal amounts of milk of magnesia and Benadryl Allergy liquid. Swish a teaspoonful of the mixture in your mouth for about 1 minute and then spit it out.

Other treatments for more severe cases include applying fluocinonide gel (Lidex) or chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash.

See also: Canker sores

Gonsalves WC, Chi AC, Neville BW. Common oral lesions: Part I. Superficial mucosal lesions. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75:501-507.

Femiano F, Lanza A, Buonaiuto C, Gombos F, Nunziata M, Piccolo S, Cirillo N. Guidelines for diagnosis and management of aphthous stomatitis. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007;26:728-732.

Review Date: 3/3/2009
Reviewed By: James L. Demetroulakos, MD, FACS, Department of Otolaryngology, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. Clinical Instructor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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