Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Canker Sores (Mouth Ulcers) (for Teenagers)
- painful shallow ulcers (sores) in the lining of the
mouth, usually on the inside of lips, inside of cheeks,
- no fever.
The exact cause of canker sores is not known. Some may
result from prolonged contact with food that gets stuck in
the teeth. Others may be due to forgotten injuries from
toothbrushes, toothpicks, rough foods (such as corn chips),
hot foods, or self-biting.
Herpes simplex causes recurrent fever blisters on the outer
lip but does not cause recurrent canker sores on the inside
of the mouth.
The white color of canker sores is the normal color of
healing tissue in the mouth. They clear up in 1 to 2 weeks.
Once they begin, no treatment can speed up the healing.
- Pain relief
To reduce the pain, swish 1 teaspoon of an antacid
solution in your mouth for several minutes. For a
single sore, put an antacid tablet on the sore and let
it dissolve. Do this three or four times a day. Take
acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed for pain
(especially at bedtime).
Eat a soft, bland diet to reduce the pain. Cold drinks
and milkshakes are especially good. Avoid salty foods,
citrus fruits, and foods that need much chewing. Drink
a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration.
Canker sores tend to recur in some people. Good
attention to toothbrushing after meals and dental
flossing once a day may prevent some sores. Be careful
with toothpicks and rough foods.
Try to identify any foods that might be causing the
ulcers. Were tomato, citrus fruit, peppermint,
cinnamon, nuts, or shellfish eaten within the last day?
If you find a food that you think may be causing the
problem, don't eat the food for 2 weeks and then eat it
again to see whether you get canker sores from it. If
the canker sores do come back, never eat that food in
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- The pain becomes severe.
- You can't drink enough fluids.
- The sores last longer than 2 weeks.
- You feel the sores are getting worse.