Pain and discomfort – eating when you have a canker sore on your tongue is no easy task. The sores often show up on the inside of your cheeks, too, either alone or in small clusters. Adding to the discomfort is the possibility of developing fever and an overall feeling of sluggishness. The website A Canker Sore Cure says sores might be inflamed by a microorganism. While your body fights off the bacteria, eat a balanced diet, avoid junk food and get lots of sleep to aid your immune system in the healing process. In the meantime, knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid will help to somewhat ease your discomfort.
What to Eat
While you have a canker sore, it's best to eat foods that are soft and bland. Non-spiced, non-acidic soft vegetables such as mashed potatoes, peas, beans and green beans are gentler on the palate than other foods. Avoid tomatoes, which are acidic. You might ask a doctor or nutritionist to recommend a diet that will not only be easy to swallow but also support your nutritional needs until you are healed. Also, ask what foods, vitamins or supplements you can add to your diet that will lessen your chances of having a recurring bout of canker sores.
What Not to Eat
There are some exceptions to the soft foods you can eat. You'll want to avoid citrus fruits and drinks, including pineapple, grapefruit, grapefruit juice, oranges, orange juice, lemons and limes. The acidity in these will aggravate your sore and might even cause more to appear. Similarly, spicy and salty foods will cause you more discomfort. For this reason, chips, pretzels and popcorn are out of the question. Also, chips, toast, nuts and other dry, crunchy foods are painful to eat.
Easing the Pain
You might try various methods to ease your pain and help you to heal more quickly. The website Teen's Health says over-the-counter medicines that have benzocaine, menthol and eucalyptol in them might sting at first, but can numb the sore and hasten healing. Try a homemade mouthwash that consists of 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and 2 ounces of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Swish the mixture in your mouth for a minute up to four times a day. Do not swallow this mouthwash. Teen's Health says doctors recommend easing the pain by placing wet, black tea bags on canker sores. The site says the tannins in tea are an astringent, a chemical that shrinks body tissue upon topical application.
When to Seek Medical Help
Aside from the discomfort they bring, canker sores typically are harmless. You might prefer not to immediately call your doctor for advice, but if you experience serious symptoms, call your doctor immediately. Some warning signs are shaking chills, fever and dizziness. Also, if your sores have not disappeared after three to four weeks, or if your pain does not subside after taking medications, call your doctor.