Mouth sores often go away in 10 to 14 days, even if you do not do anything. They sometimes last up to 6 weeks. The following steps can make you feel better:
- Avoid hot beverages and foods, spicy and salty foods, and citrus.
- Gargle with salt water or cool water.
- Eat fruit-flavored ice pops. This is helpful if you have a mouth burn.
- Take pain relievers like acetaminophen.
For canker sores:
- Apply a thin paste of baking soda and water to the sore.
- Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 1 part water and apply this mixture to the sores using a cotton swab.
- For more severe cases, treatments include fluocinonide gel (Lidex), anti-inflammatory amlexanox paste (Aphthasol), or chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex) mouthwash.
Over-the-counter medicines, such as Orabase, can protect a sore inside the lip and on the gums. Blistex or Campho-Phenique may provide some relief of canker sores and fever blisters, especially if applied when the sore first appears.
Acyclovir cream 5% can also be used to help reduce the duration of the cold sore.
To help cold sores or fever blisters, you can also apply ice to the sore.
You may reduce your chance of getting common mouth sores by:
- Avoiding very hot foods or beverages
- Reducing stress and practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation
- Chewing slowly
- Using a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Visiting your dentist right away if you have a sharp or broken tooth or poorly fitting dentures
If you seem to get canker sores often, talk to your provider about taking folate and vitamin B12 to prevent outbreaks.
To prevent cancer of the mouth:
- DO NOT smoke or use tobacco.
- Limit alcohol to 2 drinks per day.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your lips. Wear a lip balm with SPF 15 at all times.