Best Canker Sore Remedies - Canker Sore Causes - Canker Sore Symptoms

Canker sore or aphthous ulcer is a type of ulcer that appears inside your mouth, tongue, lips or cheeks. This may occur several times a year and to people of any age group. Generally women and teens are more prone to this type of ulcer. Unlike cold sore this does not spread to other people. The cause of canker sore is unknown but it is assumed that it can be caused due to tissue injury, bacterial infection, food allergies or trauma to mouth. 
Complex canker sore can also be caused due to immune system imbalances, iron deficiency, nutritional problems or gastrointestinal diseases. There are no such glaring symptoms of the disease but you may observe itchy or burning sensation in the mouth or red and yellow crater. You can get rid of these sores effectively with some home remedies and they do not require medications. Here we have prepared a list of several simple natural remedies that can help you with the sore. Check them out.

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors?
Your risk for developing canker sores increases if you have a family history of canker sores. There are various causes of canker sores. In some cases, the cause can’t be determined. The most common causes include:

  • a viral infection
  • stress
  • hormonal fluctuations
  • a food allergy
  • the menstrual cycle
  • a vitamin or mineral deficiency
  • an immune system problem
  • a mouth injury

What Are the Symptoms of a Canker Sore?
The symptoms of canker sores include:

  • a small, oval-shaped ulcer that’s white or yellow
  • a painful red area in your mouth
  • a tingling sensation in your mouth

In some cases, the following symptoms may also be present:
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • a fever
  • not feeling well

If a canker sore doesn’t heal on its own within two weeks, call your doctor. This could be a symptom of mouth cancer.


1. Clove

Clove is known to treat pain for ages, especially pain in the mouth. The compound eugenol is responsible for its pain relieving properties. You can use clove in several forms:

  • Put a piece of clove in your mouth to get relief from the pain caused by the canker sore.
  • You can mix clove oil with other essential oils like coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil in about 1 to 20 parts of ratio and apply it over the canker sore using a cotton swab or cotton balls after swishing your mouth with lukewarm water. Do this twice or thrice a day.
  • Apply a little clove paste over the affected area twice a day. To make this, mix clove powder with olive oil in enough amount to cover your sore.
  • Alternatively, you can make a tea and add a few cloves in it to drink it once a day.

Note: The best oil to use with clove oil is coconut oil as it has some effects against the bacterial function.

2. Honey

Honey provides relief in the itching and burning sensation caused due to canker sore. It is anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial in nature. All you need to do is:

  • Apply one tbsp. of raw honey on the infected area twice or thrice a day to get rid of the canker sore fast.
  • Combine ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder to a teaspoon of honey and make a fine paste. Apply this paste on the canker sore and wait for some time. Gargle well with lukewarm water and repeat it twice a day.
  • Or, you can mix some honey with ginger paste to get rid of the sores effectively.
  • Add 2 tbsp of honey to 1/4th cup of coconut milk and using a piece of cotton, rub this mix gently over the sore twice or thrice a day.

3. Cayenne Pepper

One should not consume spicy food when they are suffering from canker sore but, this pepper unlike others is helpful in treating the infection. A compound capsaicin in this pepper is responsible for its medicinal properties. Some methods to consume it to treat the sores are:

  • Make a paste by adding a little water to the fresh pepper and blending it. Apply a layer of this paste on the ulcers and let it rest. It may cause some discomfort for some time but it is fine. Re-apply this 2-3 times in a day.
  • You can eat some candies that use cayenne pepper as one of their chief ingredients.
  • You may also add a tsp each of myrrh powder, cayenne pepper, and goldenseal powder into a cup of water and rinse your mouth with it.

Note: It may be harmful for kids under 2 years of age and high doses for longer duration may be harmful.

4. Yogurt

Yogurt is natural cooling agent and it helps balance the bacteria in the mouth that causes canker sore. It is made by bacterial fermentation that is, using yeast or bacteria to convert carbohydrates into organic acids. Include plain yogurt with live cultures (confirm that it contains live cultures before buying and make sure to purchase a plain one, not flavored ) in your diet as much as possible.

5. Salt Water

Gargling with salt water helps reduce the swelling and inflammation of the cells in the mucous membrane at the back of the throat caused by the canker sore. For this, take ¼ cup of warm water and to it, add ½ tbsp of salt. Swish your mouth with this at least three times a day to get relief from pain and puffiness. This method will also help get rid of canker sore on tongue.

6. Beeswax

This method will not cure canker sore but will prevent it from spreading and also provide relief. If your ulcer is in the position where it keeps on rubbing with the teeth or braces then prepare a mix using beeswax and coconut oil. Just melt 1 tbsp of beeswax with 2 tbsp of coconut oil. Apply this gently over the infected area after it is cooled down. You can also apply this over the braces so that it does not touch and harm your ulcer.

Note: Make a thick paste if you are using it for braces. For this add more beeswax to the mix.

7. Raisins

Raisins are not only tasty but healthy too. All you need to do is soak a handful of raisins in a cup of water overnight. Next morning, apply these raisins on the affected area or you can eat them by draining the water and in some cases, you can drink the water as well. Do this regularly to cure canker sores.

8. Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda neutralizes the acidity in mouth and also balances the pH level of mouth. It soothes the pain caused by canker sores. It also possesses anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties that kill the bacteria which causes this ulcer. To cure the ulcer, baking soda can be used in the following ways:

  • Make a paste by adding water to baking soda and apply it directly on the affected area of your mouth using a cotton bud or finger. Let it sit for some time and wash off thoroughly later on. Do this at least once every day.
  • You can directly apply the powder to the affected area and wash off after 5 minutes.
  • Else, to prepare a mouth wash, just mix 1 tsp of baking soda to a glass of lukewarm water and rinse your mouth with this. This can be done once a day.
  • Baking soda can also be used with salt. For this, take equal amount of salt, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. Wash your mouth with this solution 5 times a day.
  • You can clean your mouth with aloe juice and apply baking soda after it. Repeat it 2 times a day.

9. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide balances the level of good bacteria in the mouth and also prevents future canker sores. It is a disinfectant and an antiseptic therefore it reduces swelling and inflammation caused by the ulcer. As it is antibacterial so it also heals canker sores. It can be used in several ways:

  • Take desired amount of hydrogen peroxide and dilute it with equal amount of water. You can also use milk of magnesia if desired. Use a cotton ball or a cotton bud and apply this mix on the infected areas of your mouth.
  • To prepare a mouthwash, add 1 tbsp of hydrogen peroxide to a glass of water or you can also use it directly. Rinse your mouth with the prepared solution. Swish for 2 minutes and spit later on. You can do this twice or thrice a day.
  • Or, mix hydrogen peroxide and water in the ratio of 1:1. To this, add 1 or 2 zinc lozenges and stir until dissolved. Use the mix 2-3 times a day to gargle.

Note: If you are rinsing your mouth without diluting the liquid, make sure that you don’t swallow it.

10. Vitamin E

To keep the tissues in mouth oiled and to ease the burning sensation caused by the canker sore, you can apply vitamin E oil. For this just cut a vitamin E capsule and squeeze out its liquid. Apply it on the affected areas. It will create a protective layer over the infection and prevent it from spreading and hence help heal quickly.

11. Vitamin B-12

The canker sore may be caused due to deficiency of vitamin B-12 also. This deficiency is generally prevalent in kids but can be found in adults too.

  • Just like vitamin E, the content of vitamin B-12 capsule can be directly applied over the infected areas of your mouth.
  • Alternatively, you can take vitamin B-12 capsules daily.

Caution: Consume capsules only after consulting a doctor only when the deficiency of this vitamin is the reason behind your sore.

12. Black Tea Bag

Black tea contains tannins which is astringent in nature and hence reduces the inflammation caused by the canker sore. It also catalyzes the healing process.

  • All you need to do is just put one tea bag in hot water for some time and then take it out to put it over the canker sore for 15- 20 minutes. Do this 2-3 times every day for faster healing.
  • You can also prepare black tea by brewing 1 tsp of black tea in a cup of warm water for some time. Drink this tea 2 to 3 times a day.

13. Milk Of Magnesia

Milk of magnesia is helpful because it has antacid which counteracts with the acidic environment which reduces the functioning of the sore-causing bacteria.

  • You can apply the milk directly over the canker sore. Do this twice or thrice a day.
  • Alternatively, Add equal amount of milk of magnesia and Benadryl allergy liquid. Rinse your mouth with this. Swish for at least a minute or two and spit out. This will speed up the healing process and will form a protective layer that prevents irritation caused due to hot, cold or spicy food.

Note: Make sure you do not swallow the liquid.

14. Coriander

To get rid of canker sore you can also use coriander. It is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-fungal in nature which can effectively treat and soothe the canker sores.

  • To make a paste, you will need 1/4 tsp of coriander powder 1 tsp of honey (optional but recommended) and 1 tsp of milk. Apply this mix on your ulcers after washing them thoroughly with lukewarm water. Leave it there for 5 to 10 minutes and wash again with warm water after that.
  • You can also boil some coriander leaves or seeds in some water and swish your mouth with it 3-4 times a day.
  • Another method is to take coriander juice orally by sipping it and keeping it in your mouth for few moments so that it can show its magic on the ulcers in a better way.

15. Onion

This is another wonderful ingredient that helps heal the canker sore. Onions contain sulfur and anti-bacterial properties which is the main reason behind its healing properties.

  • You can apply a slice of onion on the affected portions of your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this two-three times a day.
  • Alternatively, grate the onion and squeeze it to extract the juice. Apply this juice over the infected areas of the mouth.
  • Add raw onions in your diet and leave it for some time in the mouth to heal the ulcers internally.

16. Alum

This is one of the effective remedies for canker sore. Just take a piece of alum and rub it gently over the areas affected with canker sore.

  • Take a pea sized alum and keep it in your mouth for about a minute and don’t swallow the saliva. After one minute spit out the saliva and alum. Do not rinse your mouth with water. Within 24 hours, the pain will disappear.
  • You can also make a paste by adding a drop of water to 1/8 teaspoon of powdered alum in a cup. Apply it directly over the canker sore. Rinse well after a minute or two.

17. Coconut Oil Pulling

Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and hence, beneficial to soothe the pain of canker sores. Oil pulling method not only cures the canker but also prevents ulcers and removes all the toxins and bacteria from the mouth.

  • For oil pulling, swish some coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes (initially for 2-3 minutes) and then spit it in a dustbin. Do this oil pulling twice a day, daily for best results.
  • Alternatively, if you are uncomfortable with the pulling method, just apply some oil on a cotton ball and place it on the canker sore. Do this twice or thrice a day to heal it effectively.

18. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar or ACV is another effective remedy for canker sore on gum and mouth. The acidic nature of the vinegar is responsible for killing bacteria that causes this sore. This may be little harsh on application but it is fast fix for the sore.

  • Just apply apple cider vinegar to your canker sore of mouth, tongue, lips and wherever you have the ulcers. Do this up to three or four times a day. Repeat daily until you notice changes.
  • Or, mix 2 tbsp of aloe vera juice and 1 tbsp of ACV. Rinse with this mixture by swishing around in your mouth for a couple of minutes. Use cold water after this to clean your mouth thoroughly and to remove the unpleasant taste of the mix.
  • Alternatively, you can mix equal parts of ACV and brewed, cooled down black tea in a container and shake it well. Swish the mixture in your mouth for about 1-2 minutes and then spit it out. You can try this remedy before and after morning and evening meals and could refrigerate the mixture for up to 48 hours.

19. Papaya

Papaya contains papain and is a rich source of beta-carotene. Therefore, it not only reduces the inflammation but treats the sore effectively. All you need to do is add fresh papaya to your meals. Eat at least a bowl full of papaya daily. Alternatively, you can chew in some papaya leaves too.

Caution: Pregnant ladies should not consume papaya.

20. Turmeric

Turmeric has been used since ages for the treatment of numerous ailments and diseases. It has lots of anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial properties. It is also effective in treating canker sore and its symptoms.

For this remedy, the ingredients you will need includes: lemon juice, turmeric and rose water. Firstly, soak some pieces of turmeric in lemon juice for a day. Next day, take a piece out of it and blend it with rose water to form a paste. Apply this paste on the infected areas of your mouth, tongue and lips. Let it stay there for some time and wash it off later.
Best Canker Sore Remedies - Canker Sore Causes - Canker Sore Symptoms  Best Canker Sore Remedies - Canker Sore Causes - Canker Sore Symptoms Reviewed by Dinesh Soni on 08:03 Rating: 5

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