Mouth sores generally last 10 to 14 days, even if you don't do anything. They sometimes last up to 6 weeks. The following steps can make you feel better:
- Gargle with cool water or eat popsicles. This is particularly helpful if you have a mouth burn.
- Avoid hot beverages and foods, spicy and salty foods, and citrus.
- Take pain relievers like acetaminophen.
For canker sores:
Nonprescription preparations, like 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 initially appears.
- Rinse with salt water.
- Apply a thin paste of baking soda and water.
- Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 1 part water and apply this mixture to the lesions using a cotton swab.
Additional steps that may help cold sores or fever blisters:
Anti-viral medications for herpes lesions of the mouth may be recommended by your doctor. Some experts feel that they shorten the time that the blisters are present, while others claim that these drugs make no difference.
- Apply ice to the lesion.
- Take L-lysine tablets.
Call your doctor if:
- The sore begins soon after you start a new medication
- You have large white patches on the roof of your mouth or your tongue (this may be thrush or another type of lesion)
- Your mouth sore lasts longer than 2 weeks
- You are immunocompromised (for example, from HIV or cancer)
- You have other symptoms like fever, skin rash, drooling, or difficulty swallowing