How To Get Rid Of Canker Sores Fast

Honestly, is there anything worse than canker sores? I think we can all agree that they're a huge pain, both metaphorically and literally. So, what's the best mode of treatment? Is there a way to get rid of canker sores fast?

Well, as luck would have it, yes. There are actually a number of things you can do in order to speed up the healing process — though just to be extra clear, this article pertains only to canker sores (which occur inside the mouth), as opposed to cold sores (which occur outside of the mouth and are, you know, herpes).

First off, you're going to want to your best to eliminate the cause of the canker sore — the exact cause isn't known yet, but according to Mayo Clinic, stress, lack of sleep, spicy and acidic foods, and minor mouth injuries (you know, when you chomp down on your cheek too hard, and the like) can all contribute to the sores.

Since canker sores are, unfortunately, viral infections, there's no magic antibiotic pill you can pop to make them disappear — but there are still certain steps you can take that can ease the pain and help to speed up the healing process.

1. Over-the-Counter Analgesics

Colgate Orabase Maximum Strength Oral Pain Reliever Paste, $7, Amazon

Topical products like Orabase can help your canker sores heal faster; plus they keep the area numb (and relatively painless).

2. Baking Soda & Salt

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, $5, Jet

Mayo Clinic advises rinsing with a salt water or baking soda solution (one teaspoon into a 1/2 cup of warm water should suffice). This has a soothing effect, and helps with healing.

3. Milk of Magnesia

Phillips Genuine Milk of Magnesia Original, $9, Amazon

According to Medline Plus, dabbing the canker sore with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, followed by a dab of Milk of Magnesia can help with the pain. They also note that rinsing your mouth with a mixture of half Milk of Magnesia and half liquid Benadryl can reduce discomfort and inflammation.

4. Ice Chips

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

This little trick is about as simple as can be — sucking on ice chips can help keep the swelling down and numb the sore.

5. Prescription Medicine

Jennifer Polixenni Brankin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If the above home remedies don't work, and you're still experiencing extreme pain (and/or pain for extended amount of time, and/or multiple recurrences of canker sores in a short amount of time), it might be time to head in to the doctor. They can prescribe you oral steroid medications, or even ulcer medications to eradicate the canker sores.

Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Courtesy of Brands; Giphy (3)