How to Survive Canker Sores
1. Bring down the inflammation
Without getting too technical, the function that causes canker sores is an inflammatory response. In other words, if you can bring down the swelling and inflammation, you can decrease the pain, and shorten the length of the sore. Some ways to do this is rinsing with Benadryl several times a day. A non-steroidal pain medicine like Advil will both help dull the pain, but also bring down swelling. And finally, get your dentist to prescribe Kenalog in Orabase (also known as Triamcinolone Acetonide), it's a dental paste that will work wonders in bringing down swelling.
2. Kill the pain
There are dozens of canker sore products out there that exist simply to dull the pain of the sore. They are all temporary, some work better than others, and it varies depending on where on the mouth you're dealing with, but any of them will help you get through a meal. Pastes like Orabase cover the sore and numb pretty well, gels like Zilactin seal the sore with a cover while numbing the pain, and then there are all-natural solutions like Canker Sore Begone and Canker-Rid that soothe the sores without chemicals.
3. Rinse often
Keeping the mouth clean and free of food particles and debris is very helpful to holding canker sores at bay and keeping them from getting worse. A mix of hydrogen peroxide and Listerine is pretty hardcore, but works. A simple salt water solution helps dry out the sores, and there are a lot of baking soda-based mouthwashes out there that will also do the trick.
How to Heal Canker Sores
To cauterize a wound is to essentially burn it to create a seal and let it heal normally. When you're dealing with canker sores, luckily, it doesn't mean sticking a hot poker in your mouth and frying your tongue. One option is the time-tested sticking of salt on the ulcer. Yes, this will make you cry buckets, and it's not the most effective thing in the world. But it can help. Another option is a silver nitrate stick. This is the same stick used by manicurists to heal a cut on the hand. When the silver nitrate hits your saliva, it become nitric acid, which fries the ulcer. Again, not fun. But it works. The best option, however, is a prescription product called Debacterol. It's a sulfuric acid compound that you apply for 5 seconds and it burns away the top layer of the ulcer, allowing it to heal normally.
None of these options sound very fun, and they're not. In fact, it's best if done by a dentist. But if you need to clear an ulcer up in a hurry, they're your best bet.
Yeah, I know, the hardest thing to come by when you're talking about a canker sore. But really, these things just take a little time. Do the things listed above, and you should have an easier time getting through it. And sometimes, that's better than nothing.
So, now that you know everything there is to know (okay most everything), go forth and find your way to a pain-free existence. Good luck!