Canker sores, also known as Aphthous Ulcer, are small, painful, round sores that can be found inside the cheeks, under your tongue, or in the back of your throat. Canker sores are characterized by being white or yellow and surrounded by a bright red area.
Canker sores are neither cancerous nor contagious. However, they may occur if you have a viral infection.
Canker sores could be triggered by stress, food allergies, hormonal changes, and lack of vitamins and minerals. They could also be caused by brushing your mouth roughly, biting your cheeks or tongue, and mouth injury from dental work.
Common symptoms of canker sores include; round painful red spots that could develop to open ulcer, white or yellow center and a gray-like coloring as healing starts. Less common symptoms include; swollen lymph nodes, fever, and general uneasiness.
In most cases, the sores go away by themselves.
Here are some tips and good practice, to consider, when dealing with canker sores;
- Avoid foods that could irritate the sores such as spicy foods.
- Avoid chewing gum as this could exacerbate the sores.
- Ensure you maintain appropriate oral hygiene. This would hasten the healing process.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes as smoking could irritate the sores.
- You could also rinse your mouth with a liquid antacid to help neutralize acid in your mouth.
- Monitor what you eat as food allergies could also cause canker sores. Pay particular attention to dairy and wheat products as they are often the culprits.
- Ensure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Ensure you eat nutritious foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals as a deficiency in vitamins and minerals could trigger canker sores.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments to relieve canker sores;
1. Aloe Vera
The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera are great for relieving pain caused by canker sores. Aloe vera effectively heals the area and provides a quick relief. Furthermore, aloe vera’s antibacterial properties aid in dealing with the infection too. For this remedy, extract the aloe vera gel from a fleshy aloe leaf and apply it to the affected area of your mouth. Do this a few times in a day. You may also use aloe gel available in markets if you are not able to extract the fresh juice.
2. Licorice Root
Licorice roots contain glycyrrhizin which has an ability to reduce inflammation and soothe canker sores. Licorice root’s high medicinal value promotes healing in a faster way. Crush some licorice roots and soak it in water for at least 2-3 hours. Then, strain the liquid and use it to rinse your mouth. Licorice root extract can also be applied directly to the canker sores to reduce its size and promote faster healing.
Coriander seeds have powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which enable it to treat canker sores effectively. Put about 1 teaspoon of the seeds in a cup of water. You may also use coriander leaves in place of the seeds. For this remedy, boil either coriander seeds or leaves and strain the liquid. Then, wash your mouth with this beneficial solution several times in a day to relieve pain. Slowly sipping freshly-extracted juice of coriander leaves is also helpful in inhibiting canker sore symptoms.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is extensively used in medicine to naturally treat sores. It acts as a powerful antibacterial agent which treats the infection and relieves pain. Mix some tea tree oil in water and use this solution as a mouth rinse. Do this remedy at least 3 times daily until the problem subsides.
Honey helps in soothing numerous kinds of inflammation including canker sores. Honey not only kills the bacteria present in your mouth but also induces healing. It also helps in minimizing the size of the sores in a natural way. Simply dab some honey on the ulcer. Reapply several times as needed. You may also mix honey with powdered turmeric and apply it to the sores for increasing the antibacterial effect.
6. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is known to have a relaxing effect on the body. It is widely used to treat digestive issues. It could also help in relieving canker sores too. Furthermore, chamomile tea contains a bioactive compound called levomenol which treats inflammations effectively. Take a chamomile tea bag and soak it in a cup of water for a minute, then, place the moist tea bag over the ulcer for 7-10 minutes. Do this twice every day to deal with the condition. You may also sip warm chamomile tea for a similar effect.
7. Clove Oil
Clove oil is a great remedy for oral issues. It helps in reducing inflammation and treats an infection effectively. Wash your mouth thoroughly with water. Apply a little amount of clove oil on the canker sores with the help of a cotton swab. Do this 2-3 times daily.
8. Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil has beneficial fatty acids which help in dealing with canker sore in a natural way. Coconut oil also reduces inflammation and relieves pain. Take a small amount of coconut oil on your fingertip and apply it over the affected area. Leave it on to heal the sore. Do this several times during the day, especially before bedtime.
Sage has astringent properties which have a drying effect on the canker sores. Sage also helps in reducing the size of the canker sore in a natural way. Sage also soothes the area and relieves pain and discomfort. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan and add 3 tsp of leaves of sage. Allow it to steep for 12-15 minutes and strain the liquid. Use it to rinse your mouth a few times during the day. You may also apply powdered sage on the canker sores.
Garlic is probably the most effective remedy for infections, thanks to its powerful antimicrobial action. It works effectively in treating canker sore in a fast and natural way. For this remedy, take a clove of garlic and cut it into slices. Then, rub it over the ulcer in a gentle way. Rinse your mouth after half an hour with water. Apply this remedy twice every day.
The antiseptic action of salt helps in dealing with mouth ulcers in a simple and easy way. Saltwater also soothes the sore and helps in relieving pain associated with it. Mix one tablespoon of salt in a glassful of lukewarm water. Stir well until the salt completely dissolves. Swish the saltwater in your mouth for a few seconds. Gargle thoroughly with it and finally rinse your mouth with plain water. Repeat the process several times in a day to heal the canker sore.
12. Baking Soda
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is used in many remedies due to its beneficial action. When applied to canker sores, baking soda neutralizes the acids present in the ulcer and promotes faster healing. Baking soda also reduces pain in a natural way. Being an antibacterial agent, baking soda prevents an infection. Simply take baking soda in a bowl and add a little water to make a paste. Now apply it to the ulcer with the help of a cotton swab. Allow it to dry and wash your mouth thoroughly. Do this thrice every day.
Healing canker sores with onion is easy. All you have to do is gently apply a freshly cut piece of onion on the canker sore for 5-7 minutes several times in a day. Onion contains compounds high in sulfur which kills the bacteria and treats the sores effectively.
Make a turmeric paste by mixing powdered turmeric with water. Then, use a cotton swab to apply it gently to the ulcer and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Wash off with water. Do this twice every day for effective results. The antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory nature of turmeric helps in treating the pain and swelling associated with the canker sores.
15. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper may help in reducing pain almost instantly. The numbing compound, called capsaicin, present in cayenne is effective in relieving the discomfort associated with the canker sores. It also promotes healing. Take a cotton swab and dip it in powdered cayenne. Now apply it to your canker sore. Let it stay for a little time and wash off with water. Repeat it 2 times in a day.
16. Orange Juice
Usually, a deficiency of vitamin C is responsible for the development of canker sores. Therefore, replenishing your body with vitamin C would help in a faster healing process. Since oranges are one of the best sources of this vitamin, you may drink a glass of its juice every day on a regular basis.
17. Epsom Salt
The minerals present in Epsom salt helps in dealing with canker sores in an excellent way. All you have to do is gargle with the Epsom salt solution 2-3 times in a day until the ulcer heals. To prepare the solution, mix 2 tbsp of Epsom salt in a cup filled with warm water. Stir well and use it to gargle.
An imbalance in the bacteria present in your mouth may lead to canker sores. Yogurt, being a probiotic, works in a simple way to balance the bacteria present in your mouth and reduce mouth ulcers. Consume about a tablespoon of unflavoured yogurt having live culture thrice every day. You may also mix some honey to add taste as well as reap the healing benefits.
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