Most episodes of aphthous ulcers clear up and move on within a couple of weeks. If you have a sore that doesn't resolve within a month, it's time to see our team. In these cases, a closer analysis of the area should be done.
While identifying a cause may lead to a lifestyle adjustment that eliminates sores, many patients end up enduring the discomfort until they heal. Here are a few tips to minimize the disruption:
Be Gentle. Stay away from spicy or acidic foods during an outbreak. Use a soft toothbrush and consider an SLS-free toothpaste for awhile.
Numb It. Grab a tube of a numbing or coating agent like Oragel, Kanka, or zilactin-B. Carry it in your pocket and apply as needed to cut the pain.
Rinse. You might try mixing ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup water, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt to create a rinse that disinfects and neutralizes sore spots. This mix is particularly useful if you're suffering from multiple ulcers. Rincinol PRN is a commercial rinse available at many retailers that draws strong reviews from users.
Try Tea. Some patients get relief by applying a damp tea bag to a mouth sore for a few minutes at a time. You may also find that sipping licorice tea helps.
Bump B-12. A well-designed research project showed that patients taking 1000 mg of sublingual B-12 experienced a significant reduction in mouth ulcers and pain levels. Regardless of initial B12 blood levels, 74% of patients were ulcer-free after six months compared to 32% in the control group. Definitely worth considering!
Chat With Us. If you're dealing with mouth ulcers, talk to us the next time you're in our office. We may be able to personalize our recommendations and offer other management suggestions.
At our practice, we want to help you find answers to every question you have about your dental health. Aphthous ulcers frustrate many people, but sometimes just one tip contributes to reducing your pain. We look forward to discussing all your concerns at your next visit!