Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To help relieve pain and speed healing:

  • Rinse your mouth. Use salt water; baking soda (dissolve 1 teaspoon of soda in 1/2 cup warm water); or a mixture of 1 part — such as 1 teaspoon — diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to either 1 part Kaopectate or 1 part Maalox. Be sure to spit out the mixtures after rinsing.
  • Dab a small amount of milk of magnesia on your canker sore a few times a day.
  • Cover canker sores with a paste made of baking soda plus a small amount of water — just enough to make a paste.
  • Try over-the-counter products that contain the numbing agent benzocaine, such as Anbesol and Orajel.
  • Avoid abrasive, acidic or spicy foods that can cause further irritation and pain.
  • Apply ice to your canker sores by allowing ice chips to slowly dissolve over the sores.
  • Brush your teeth gently, using a soft brush and toothpaste without foaming agents, such as Biotene, Sensodyne ProNamel or Rembrandt Canker Sore.
Mar. 24, 2012

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