ZocdocAnswersWhat is a good treatment for a canker sore?

Question

What is a good treatment for a canker sore?

I keep getting canker sores every so often. What is the best way to treat them?

Answer

Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers as they are known to doctors, are extremely common and usually benign. They can be related to stress, and often seem to be caused by a localized immune reaction in a specific area of the mouth. They are obviously very painful, but there are treatments available. Topical pain medication, which can be applied in a paste that will persist for some time, is one of the most common treatments. Other options include that same pain killing paste mixed with a steroid, which seems to help the actual ulcer to heal more quickly. Finally, there is some research that seems to suggest that local cautery of the area either chemically or with heat/electricity can be an effective treatment leading to less pain and a faster healing time. They don't have to be treated at all, however. While everyone gets these from time to time, you should speak with your doctor if they don't heal appropriately or if they are occurring frequently, as this could be a sign of other medical conditions (especially if their presence is associated with other symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, etc). Please speak to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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