Facebook Pixel

Canker Sores Treatments


Aphthous ulcers usually resolve on their own within 1 to 2 weeks. Treatments for aphthous ulcers are not usually necessary. However, treatment options for especially painful or persistent aphthous ulcers may include the following:

Oral Pain Relieving Rinses or Gels

An oral rinse, such as viscous lidocaine may be used every three hours or before meals. This provides short-term relief from pain caused by aphthous ulcers. In addition, over-the-counter, anti-pain oral gels can be applied directly on the sores usually four times daily to numb the area and relieve pain temporarily.

Oral Antibiotic Rinse

For multiple sores, a liquid form of the antibiotic tetracycline can be used as an oral rinse four times daily for 10 days. The liquid can coat the ulcers and prevent new ulcers from forming. Sometimes, as a side effect, this treatment can cause an oral infection called candidiasis , or thrush, which is easily treated.


For severe outbreaks of minor or major aphthous ulcers, steroids may be taken. It is usually in the form of a liquid oral rinse after meals and at bedtime. Steroids help reduce inflammation of the mouth caused by severe sores.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2020 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

The Latest in Canker Sores Treatments

ASK Your Health Question

It's FREE and you'll get a response within 24 hours


POST Info, Tips & Stories

Inspire others to learn from your experiences. Tell your story!

Get Email Updates

Related Topics

Canker Sores Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!