Injury to the mouth can trigger canker sores as well as problems with dentures. Other triggers are brushing teeth rough, eating acidic foods such as oranges and lemons, certain food allergies, and deficiencies in vitamins or minerals.
There are a number of things you can do at home to minimize the discomfort canker sores can cause. Try rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water mixed with a half teaspoon of salt. Do this 4 to 6 times a day. Placing an ice cube directly on the sore can help with pain. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the sore. Spicy, sour, and acidic foods can irritate sores and should be avoided until they heal. Try over-the-counter salve or antiseptic mouthwash, making sure it contains glycerin which protects the sore and peroxide which fights bacteria and can prevent an infection. This is especially helpful when the canker sore has been caused by an injury or problems with dentures.
A call to the doctor or dentist is necessary if a fever above 100 degrees occurs or if glands become swollen, if the sore is not fully healed in three weeks since this could indicate something more serious, if pain becomes difficult to manage since the doctor can prescribe a medication for pain. Call your dentist if you feel dentures or a tooth is the reason for the canker sore.
Keeping your teeth cleaned and brushed as well as flossing on a regular basis can help to prevent a canker sore. Be sure to brush with a toothpaste that doesn’t have sodium lauryl sulfate in it since this may dry out the mouth’s lining. If you suspect certain foods trigger canker sores then these should be avoided. Taking a multi-vitamin every day can be helpful with the prevention of canker sores.