How to Treat Canker Sore or Lower Gum Pain


Painful and unpleasant, canker sores and related lower gum pain can last for days, causing the sufferer intense discomfort. While canker sores and general gum pain are difficult to prevent, the treatments for pain management are fairly simple. With the use of some common household products and over-the-counter medications, you cannot only make life with gum-related pain a little more bearable, but you can also potentially shorten the life span of the canker sore itself.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouth rinse
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Over-the-counter oral pain medications

Clean your mouth and the affected area. Brush your teeth with toothpaste, floss and use mouth rinse. This will help keep your mouth clean and cut down on the amount of bacteria produced during a canker sore outbreak. It will help dislodge any particles that could be causing general lower gum pain. This is also an important step when you are beginning your treatments. Starting with a clean area means the treatments will have the chance to be more effective.

Make a paste from baking soda and water. Take 1 tbsp. of baking soda and mix in water one drop at a time until you have made a thick paste. Apply a small bit of this paste directly to the canker sore. While it is safe to swallow this mixture, you may also spit it out. Reapply as frequently as needed. This works especially well on canker sores, but if your gum pain is not caused by a sore, it may not be effective.

Apply small amounts of milk of magnesia to the canker sore. It can be applied with a swab directly to the canker sore. Reapply three to four times per day to ease discomfort. Again, this remedy proves particularly effective on canker sores and may not treat gum pain that does not originate from a sore or injury to the mouth.

Utilize over-the-counter oral pain medications. These medications typically come in the form of a gel, and anesthetize the affected area. Apply them according to the directions, and take care not to over-apply them. These medications work equally well for sore-related and general gum pain.

Practice preventive behavior. Canker sores are easily aggravated by food particles, especially those that are acidic or salty. Avoiding these foods lessens the chance that the affected area will be exposed, saving you a potentially very painful experience. For general gum pain, avoid eating on the side of the mouth that is causing discomfort. Food particles can make the area more sensitive.

Tips & Warnings

  • For those monitoring sodium levels, rinse your mouth after using the baking soda method, as baking soda has very high levels of sodium in it.
  • For recurring or intense pain, or if you are concerned about your dental pain, contact your dentist.

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