Fast Relief from Canker Sores


A canker sore starts as a small, nagging pain inside your mouth. At first you may try to ignore it, but quickly realize that it just isn’t going away. What’s the fastest way to get relief and heal the sore? Consider solutions provided by the editors of Consumer Guide.

Identify the source of the pain
Before treating the sore, confirm that it is, in fact, a canker sore and not a cold sore. cold sores also may be described as fever blisters. A cold sore starts as several small blisters that join together to form a larger sore, usually inside the mouth on the gums or outside the mouth on the lips, nose, cheeks or fingers. Cold sores last usually seven to 10 days.

A canker sore is a small, painful ulcer with a yellow or white-gray center and a well-defined red border. It usually develops on the inside of the lip or cheek, and sometimes on the tongue, and hangs around for three to four days.

Recognize the causes
Medical professionals have not identified a specific reason why a canker sore develops, but believe they tend to occur when people are fatigued, stressed or not eating well. Some prescription medications may also create canker sores.

Identify remedies
There is not a quick-fix solution for canker sores, but several remedies may help relieve the pain:

  • Homemade solution – Combine equal parts of Milk of Magnesia (or Kaopectate) and Benadryl, and apply it to the sore; the Milk of Magnesia tends to coat the sore and the Benadryl helps relieve  the pain and reduce tissue inflammation
  • Over-the-counter medications – Consult a pharmacist for suggestions of over-the-counter antiseptic creams, lozenges or mouth rinses designed to relieve canker sore pain
  • Styptic pencil – Designed to stem bleeding from minor nicks or cuts, a styptic pencil can be used to numb the nerve endings in the sore and relieve the pain
  • Brush teeth gently – Use a soft-bristle brush and a sensitive toothpaste to reduce irritation of the sore

Learn more about canker and mouth sores.