Home Remedies for Canker Sores

Canker sores (Aphthous ulcers) are small ulcerous sores of white, gray or yellow color with a red border. It may occur in different parts inside your mouth like the tongue, soft palate or even in the inner regions of your cheek. The burning or tingling sensation caused by it might make it difficult for you to eat. Given are certain useful home remedies that may help you to get relief from these painful sores.

How to get rid of canker sores

Natural remedies for canker sore

Aloe Vera: The anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties of aloe vera makes it an effective home remedy in treating canker sores occurring anywhere inside your mouth like the tongue and gums. Aloe vera gel can be applied to your sore many times in a day. You can even drink its juice three to four times on a daily basis to yield fruitful results.

Coriander leaves: Apart from its anti-inflammatory properties, coriander leaves act as a strong antiseptic, helping to ease discomfort. Add two tablespoons of coriander leaves to a glass of water and boil it. After straining, give it cooling time till it gets lukewarm. Use this solution for rinsing your mouth thrice a day.

You may also drink juice prepared from fresh coriander leaves. Instead of having it in one go, try keeping it in your mouth for a while to ease the pain.

Onion: Place slices of onions on the affected area and keep it for fifteen minutes. Wash your mouth properly with cold water. Though its pungent smell may give you a feeling of discomfort, it helps you in getting rid of your canker sores.

Squeezing the juice out of a grated onion and applying it tenderly on the sores inside your mouth using your index finger for about four times a day will help in quick healing.

Fenugreek: You can make an infusion by adding a cup of fenugreek leaves to about two cups of water. After cooling the mixture, strain it and gargle at least twice every day to feel better.

A tablespoon of fenugreek seeds can also be boiled in one-liter water and used for gargling. Try keeping the water in your mouth for at least five minutes to help it heal quickly.

Honey: The soothing nature of honey along with its antiseptic and antibacterial properties will help in easing inflammation and pain. Use your fingertip to gently massage a little amount of honey on your sores about four times a day. The burning sensation felt initially will calm down eventually.

Plum juice: The presence of Vitamin C and tannins in plum juice makes it a useful remedy. You can take three to four tablespoon of this juice for rinsing your mouth two to three times every day or use it to gently compress your sores with a cotton ball for about ten minutes.

Slippery Elm: Apply a paste of slippery elm and water to the sores.

Garlic: Because of its pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, eating garlic clove daily or having it in the form of a paste aids in healing, also being a useful remedy to prevent frequent occurring of sores.

Black tea: Presence of tannins in black tea functions as an astringent, helping to get rid of canker sores fast. Take a black tea bag, dip it in lukewarm water and put it on your sores for ten to fifteen minutes.

Basil leaves: Because of its medicinal properties, basil leaves help in relieving pain when chewed for at least six times in a day. Rinse your mouth well with water after this.

Sage: The calming properties of sage aids in quick relief from inflammation and pain. Add three teaspoons of sage leaves to two cups of water and boil for ten to fifteen minutes. After cooling it to room temperature, use it for rinsing your mouth three to four times a day.

You may also apply powdered leaves directly to your sores and leave it for sometimes.

Gooseberry: Treat your sores with a paste of one teaspoon of gooseberry root bark powder and one teaspoon honey.

Turmeric powder: Because of its healing and antiseptic properties,  gargling or rinsing your mouth thrice a day with a mixture of half a teaspoon turmeric powder, a quarter teaspoon of salt and warm water will give you relief.

A quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with a teaspoon of honey can be applied on the affected region. After leaving it for a while use lukewarm water for rinsing your mouth. This process is to be repeated twice.

Tea tree oil: Three to five drops of this disinfectant can be mixed in a quarter cup of warm water and applied on the affected area three to four times in a day.

Goldenseal: Because of its antiseptic and astringent properties, goldenseal powder can directly be applied on your sores. You can also make a mouthwash mixing half teaspoon goldenseal powder and one-fourth teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Rinsing your mouth with it two or three times every day can be beneficial. Another option is to apply moist tea bags of goldenseal to the area.

Sorrel: A piece of this herb can be held against your sores till it becomes soft. Remove it after about a minute and repeat this remedy till you get relief.

Papaya: Eating freshly cut papayas is another useful remedy for mouth sores. Chewing papaya leaves can also help.

Calendula tea: Boil two teaspoons of calendula tea in one cup of water and gargle with the infusion 3 to 4 times a day.

Canker sore other treatments at home

Baking soda: Being effective in neutralizing acidity as well as soothing inflammation and pain, a solution prepared from one teaspoon of baking soda, two teaspoons of salt and a glass of warm water can be used for rinsing your mouth twice or thrice a day. A paste of powdered baking soda can also be applied on your sores.

Alum: Used in a lot of astringents, alum may help you to rid of canker sores overnight. Grind a medium-sized alum chunk into powdered form and use about half to one teaspoon of it with a little water to form a thick paste. Apply it on the affected place and let it be for about fifteen minutes, rinse well using plain water. Doing this two to three times a day will help. If you are prone to canker sores, then use this remedy on a regular basis. It may cause a burning sensation initially which will go away in a while.

Salt: Salt is helpful in drawing out fluids from these oral sores, speeding the healing process.  Rinse your mouth with a solution made from a tablespoon of salt and a cup of warm water. After rinsing thoroughly apply a pinch of salt on the sore. You might prefer gargling with salt water if you have sores in your throat.  Though this might be painful, it will help in drying them out fast.

Hydrogen peroxide: Having a strong acidic nature as well as bleaching properties, it should be used in its diluted form. A capful of hydrogen peroxide is to be mixed with about 200 milliliters of water and used for rinsing your mouth at least four times a day. Make sure you do not swallow the mixture.

Ice: Placing a poultice of ice over you sores will help in easing pain.

Canker sores in babies (occurring rarely) can be treated at home by making a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water. Dab the solution gently using cotton balls after which you can massage using a small amount of milk of magnesia. 

How to prevent canker sores

  • Avoid eating spicy food, caffeinated beverages or foods causing allergies or irritation to your mouth. Eat some yogurt every day as it has an anti-bacterial effect helping to prevent yeast infections.
  • Ensure cleanliness of your mouth by brushing and flossing daily.
  • Brush your teeth using a soft brush to prevent irritation of your delicate mouth tissues.
  • Try not using toothpaste or mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate as it acts as an irritant.
  • In case you have braces, then tell your dentist to apply orthodontic wax for covering the sharp edges which will act as a barrier between the braces as well as your cheeks, tongue, lips and gums, thereby smoothening the surface and reducing chances of sores and irritation.
  • As stress often results in canker sores especially in adolescents, teenagers, and women, trying some stress management techniques may help.

If your canker sores are not getting any better after trying these remedies, consult your doctor who may provide you certain analgesic ointments or even antibiotics.

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