Canker sores are small shallow and painful ulcers that appear on lips, gums, tongue or inside the cheeks and make eating and talking uncomfortable. An exact cause for the appearance of canker sores is yet to be found, but they generally appear in conditions of vitamin deficiency, hormonal changes, stress, acid or spicy food and some food allergies.
Canker sores typically appear as a red patch of skin that becomes inflamed and develops a yellowish or white spot in the middle. They may be accompanied by fever, physical sluggishness, and swollen lymph nodes. The pain from canker sores usually lessens in a few days, but it may take up to a week or even two for them to heal without treatment. During all of this time you will feel discomfort, as well as bad breath, burn sensation, difficulty in eating and speaking. Most of the canker sores do not require any treatment and heal on their own, however if they last more than three weeks you should better see a doctor.
Although the pain from canker sores subsides in a few days, here are a few remedies to make you relief and speed up their healing process.
1. Swish Sage
Sage is an herb from the evergreen shrub Salvia officinalis, from the mint family. It has healing and calming properties that are widely used in homeopathic medicine. It has also been used for home remedies for years, including for treating canker sores. Sage has an astringent and drying effect on the canker sores; it kills bacteria and viruses while also reducing inflammation. The Native Americans used sage to cleanse the mouth and to heal painful ulcers, that we call canker sores, long before modern medicine found a use for it.
Take three teaspoons of sage leaves and add them to two cups of boiling water, steep for 15 minutes and allow the mixture to cool down. Remove the leaves and use the mixture to rinse your mouth several times per day. Additionally, you can use the leaves you removed from the liquid by pounding them into paste and placing them on the sore for 5 minutes. Then rinse with cold water.
A quicker method would be to apply dried sage powder directly on the sore, keep it for several minutes and then rinse your mouth. Repeat as many times as necessary.
Aspirin has been used for centuries for reducing fever and relieve pain. Aspirin has anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning properties. Used against canker sores it is a good painkiller. In order to get the best effect from aspirin you should plan the dose so that it takes effect when you are eating. However you should consult your doctor before using aspirin, since it is contraindicated for people with certain conditions. Also aspirin is not recommended for those under 19 years old, and if you are breastfeeding or pregnant consult your doctor before using this remedy.
With the back of a spoon crush into powder an aspirin tablet, then add a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply it to the canker sore to obtain instant pain relief. Do not let the paste longer than 10 minutes on the sore, and rinse off with water. If the sore is on the inside of a lip, just tuck a tablet between the lip and gums and leave until its dissolution.
3. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and is also tasty. Besides, it is very effective against canker sores. Coconut also has a lot of nutrients like vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6, iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and others. Coconut milk is obtained from the white flesh of the fruit and it contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids and capric acids; it has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Coconut oil also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Use coconut milk against canker sores in the following way: take some coconut milk into your mouth and gargle with it. Swish it around your mouth several seconds then swallow or throw it out. Do this 3 to 4 times a day. You could also use coconut oil in the same way, repeating the procedure 2 to 3 times a day. Or you could simply rub some coconut oil on the canker sores.
Lysine is an amino acid that is essential for our health, but it cannot be produced by our body. It may be found in foods high in protein like nuts, red meat, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, and sardines. Certainly, it is also available as a supplement. Lysine is usually prescribed to patients who have large wounds, burns, and other medical conditions that involve protein loss. Although lysine may be taken without prescription, it should be used with caution, in order to avoid such side effects as nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Taken against canker sores, lysine will not have any immediate effects, but it will assist in healing the sores faster. If taken on a daily basis, it will not only help in healing the existing canker sores, but it will also prevent other from appearing. If taken when a canker sore only begins to form, lysine stops its development and heals it before it even becomes a problem. Be careful when taking lysine, excessive doses may lead to gallstone formation and increased levels of cholesterol and triglyceride.
5. Cactus juice
You may find it unusual to hear this, but yes, juice from cacti can actually help you in getting rid of canker sores. With its antioxidant properties, cactus juice is another effective natural remedy for treating canker sores. It has a drying effect on the ulcers and helps reducing their size by dehydrating them. By drying the canker sores and dehydrating the inside of the mouth, cactus juice speeds up the healing process. Cactus juice also contains beta-carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium and many other vitamins and minerals.
In order for the cactus juice to have an effect on the canker sores, you should keep it in your mouth for at least 20 seconds. Use the juice as a rinse and swish it around your mouth for a few minutes then throw it out. Continue this procedure for 2-3 days to dehydrate the sores and speed up their healing.
6. Right Nutrition
People who frequently have canker sores most likely have a deficiency of vitamins and minerals in their body. The most common may be the deficiency of iron, zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B12. The simplest way to prevent the apparition of canker sores and also to get rid of them once they appear is to eat the right kind of food. It is always a good idea to eat food that is rich in vitamin C, which is the best remedy against canker sores. Vitamin C improves the mucous membrane and rebuilds the skin enveloping the sore. In order to get as much vitamin C as you can, include in your daily diet vegetables and fruits that have a high content of this vitamin such as oranges, kiwifruit, strawberries, lemons, tomatoes, and other. This will help to heal the sores quickly. Alternatively, you may also go to see your doctor for a checkup and take supplements of the nutrients that are insufficient in your body.
7. Bags of Black Tea
Tea is an alkaline, so it neutralizes acids that irritate the sore and it also contains compounds that relieve the pain. The tea bags contain tannic acid which acts as an antiviral and disinfectant, thus the area affected by the sore can be drastically limited. This remedy is one of the most effective against canker sores and is also popular, because everyone has black tea at home at all times. In order to use this remedy, place the used tea bags in the refrigerator for a while, then put on the canker sore and hold for a few minutes. Repeat this a few times during the day to get a quick relief from the pain caused by the canker sore. Instead of black tea bags, you can also use in a similar manner chamomile tea bags. Chamomile has relaxing properties and can help to reduce inflammation. This will help in reducing the pain of canker sores when applied on the affected area.
8. Apply Glycerin
Glycerin is a neutral, colorless, sweet-tasting, thick liquid that is being widely used in the cosmetics industry to produce, soaps, creams and lotions. It is also used in the food industry as a humectant, solvent and sweetener, and also as a sugar substitute. Glycerin is also used in the pharmaceutical industry in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Glycerin is one of the most effective home remedies in the fight with canker sores; it has a soothing effect on the sores. It forms a protective coating on the surface of the canker sore and isolates the harmful bacteria. Thus, the bacteria from the sore are unable to feed and die due to starvation. Glycerin is especially effective on sores in their initial stages. Apply glycerin on the mouth ulcers with the help of a piece of cotton wool. Continue to apply the remedy until the canker sores are gone.
Yogurt is made out of fermented milk and is a product of bacterial fermentation. During this fermentation, carbohydrates are converted into organic acids. Yogurt contains traces of lacto bionic acid, which is very useful in preventing cell swelling caused by canker sores. The greatest amount of lacto bionic acid is found in the upper layer of fermented curd, so the upper creamy layer of yogurt prepared at home should be given to the person suffering of canker sores. This will give the best results. Yogurt is often recommended for restoring a healthy flora, but if it is eaten daily it becomes one of the best home remedies against canker sores.
Use only plain yogurt, not flavored, and eat at least 1 tablespoon 3 times a day. Make sure that the label on the yogurt confirms it contains live cultures. This will balance bacteria in your mouth, which, if it is out of balance, may cause the appearance of canker sores. In order to prevent the appearance of canker sores, try to make yogurt a part of your diet as much as possible.
Given the therapeutic and healing properties of raw organic honey, it is a wonderful remedy against a painful canker sore. The soothing quality of honey can offer relief from the pain and inflammation of a canker sore. Honey is a natural humectant and it also helps reduce scarring while speeding the process of new tissue growth. All of these properties of organic honey ensure a faster healing of the canker sore.
Take a small amount of honey and rub it onto the canker sore. Let the honey sit for two minutes, with your mouth open, then spit it out. Do not rinse. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times every day. You could also mix it with a dash of turmeric powder and make it into a thick paste. Apply onto the canker sore and let both ingredients treat the affected area. Leave there for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water. Repeat twice a day until you get positive results.