Ulcer, aphthous

  • Condition characterized by painful ulcers in the mouth, often known as canker sores
  • May be caused by multiple factors including injury to the mouth, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies, dietary allergies, hormonal changes, genetics, bacterial or viral infections, medication use and more
  • Cannot be spread from person to person
  • Affects males and females
  • Can occur at any age but most common in adolescents
  • Usually mild and resolves on its own

  • Avoid any food that irritates your mouth
  • Floss once every day and brush after meals
  • Rinse with one of the following (do not swallow)
    • Saltwater
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda in ½ cup warm water
    • ½ hydrogen peroxide, ½ water
    • 1-part diphenhydramine with 1-part bismuth subsalicylate or 1-part simethicone
  • Apply ice
  • Apply baking soda paste or milk of magnesia

 

Over-the-counter medicines for pain (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage):

  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF

  • Sores are unusually large or are spreading
  • Sores last longer than 3 weeks
  • Pain not controlled by over-the-counter medicines
  • High fever
  • Inability to eat or drink

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If you are not feeling well or are uncertain about a healthcare condition, see a doctor. It could save your life.

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