How to heal a canker sore is very similar to healing sore throats and other pains inside the mouth, including those associated with inflammation in the gums and tooth extraction. Although a canker sore will heal on its own in time, constantly playing with it, either with fingers in the mouth or touching it with the tongue, can keep it irritated and even make it hurt more. The following will help heal a canker sore quickly and efficiently.
- Rinse the mouth out with warm salted water several times a day. This is difficult for most people and can cause a gag reflex, so it is best to do this over a sink. Fill a glass with about eight ounces of warm water, not boiling, and add about one teaspoon of salt. If the person can handle saltier water, add more salt and stir to dissolve. Standing over the sink, take a mouthful of the warm salted water and rinse the mouth, similar to using mouthwash, just without the pleasant mint flavor. Rinse for about 20 to 30 seconds, then spit the water out. Repeat with the remaining warm salted water.
- Avoid eating foods that are rough or irritating, such as hard crunchy breakfast cereals or pasta sauce, to help heal a canker sore faster. The less irritated the canker sore is made, the faster it will heal. Stick to less acidic foods and beverages and less crunchy solid foods, and chew everything carefully so as not to accidentally bite the area where the canker sore is causing more discomfort. The canker sore will heal in a few days if extra special care and precautions are taken.
- Do not play with the canker sore by touching or poking at it with the tongue, and certainly do not stick fingers in the mouth which will only increase the spread of germs and possibly make the canker sore worse. The more the canker sore can be left alone, the faster the body can heal it. This also involves chewing slowly and carefully, and only taking small bites of food for a few days, to help prevent accidentally biting that area making the situation harder to deal with.
- If the pain is really bad, a topical treatment can be applied to the area to help temporarily numb the canker sore. This type of product can be found in most pharmacies and grocery stores, if not in the over-the-counter medicine aisle, then in the baby aisle with the teething products. It will numb the fingertip, so apply with a cotton swab instead.