Canker sores, aka mouth ulcers, occur on your gums or inside your mouth. They are quite common, are not a serious condition, and usually heal on their own in a few days. But they can be bothersome, making eating, drinking, brushing and sometimes even talking uncomfortable! So you do want to quicken the healing process. Some simple home remedies can actually help get rid of mouth ulcers quickly. Here are twelve tried and tested remedies, safe and effective for canker sores, that you can try at the comfort of your home.
Twelve easy and effective home remedies for quick healing of canker sores
Remedies with mouth rinses
1. Saltwater rinse
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water is the most basic yet effective way to relieve the canker sore. Saltwater is a natural remedy that reduces bacteria and inflammation and helps heal canker sores.
- Add a tsp of salt to a glass of warm water and stir to dissolve it in water.
- Swish it around in your mouth so that the solution can reach all corners of your mouth.
- Spit out, repeat a couple of times and rinse your mouth with plain water.
- You can repeat this time-tested, safe process multiple times a day to heal the mouth ulcer.
2. Baking soda rinse
Alternatively, you can also use baking soda rinse. Baking soda is alkaline and is thought to reduce bacteria. It also reduces inflammation, thus relieving pain due to mouth ulcers.
- Add 1 tsp of baking soda to ½ cup of warm water and rinse your mouth using it.
- Repeat for every few hours.
- If you find it painful to rinse your mouth, you can make a paste and apply it to the sore.
3. Apple cider vinegar rinse
ACV finds a pretty good place in home remedies, and healing canker sores is one of them. The antibacterial properties of ACV help in healing canker sores.
- Mix 1 tsp of ACV with a cup of warm water.
- Swish the mixture around your mouth for about 30 seconds.
- Spit it out, and then rinse with plain water.
- Repeat for every few hours until you find relief.
Some suggest applying apple cider vinegar on the sores. But ACV being acidic may worsen the pain. So better don’t apply on the sore.
4. Herbal rinses
Many herbs have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce pain due to canker sores while speeding up healing.
Herbs such as chamomile, sage or echinacea have anti-inflammatory properties. You can steep any of these herbs in hot water and use it to rinse your mouth as well. These herbs are great home remedies for mouth ulcers.
5. Triphala rinse
Triphala is an Ayurvedic formulation made with Amla, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. It is antimicrobial and is recommended for maintaining good oral health. Rinsing with Triphala destroys bacteria causing the sore and helps heal quickly.
- Mix ½ tsp Triphala in a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth well.
- Repeat use a few times a day to find relief.
6. Aloe vera juice
Another rinse that can soothe canker sores is aloe vera juice. It reduces inflammation, eases pain, and helps in healing mouth ulcers.
- Mix ½ cup aloe vera juice with ½ cup water.
- Rinse your mouth with the mixture.
- Spit it out and rinse with plain water.
- Repeat a few times a day.
- Alternatively, you can apply aloe vera gel on the sores to soothe the pain.
Topical application remedies
Honey is another versatile home remedy that comes in handy for many problems, including mouth ulcers. Its excellent antibacterial properties can help cure your canker sores quickly.
- Apply raw honey to the affected area.
- Repeat it several times a day till you feel the swelling reduce.
The remedy is not only easy but tasty as well 🙂
8. Ghee/clarified butter
Ghee is yet another age-old grandma remedy for relieving mouth ulcers. Apply it to the sores several times a day. It helps by soothing inflammation and reducing pain.
9. Amla with honey
As you may know, amla is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and has the ability to heal infections. Honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. This combo of honey and amla home remedy accelerates the healing of mouth ulcers.
- Mix a tsp of dried amla powder with a tsp of honey.
- Gently apply the mixture to the sores.
- Reapply 3-4 times a day.
Note: Instead of amla powder, you can mix fresh amla juice with honey and apply it to the sores. Using amla juice as a mouth rinse also helps in reducing canker sores.
10. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and can speed up the healing of canker sores. You can gently apply coconut oil to the sores for relief.
You can also use coconut oil as a rinse to aid in healing mouth ulcers.
- Take a spoonful of cold-pressed coconut oil in your mouth.
- Swish it around your mouth for a few seconds.
- Spit it out and rinse your mouth with plain water.
- Repeat after a few hours for a few days until you find relief.
11. Milk of magnesia
Milk of magnesia helps balance the pH levels in your mouth and prevents the ulcer from worsening. In addition, it helps relieve the pain associated with canker sores effectively.
Apply a small amount of milk of magnesia on the affected area, leave it on for a couple of seconds and then rinse with water. Repeat up to three times a day.
Turmeric has excellent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, and hence it can aid in treating canker sores very well. Mix turmeric powder with water to form a paste and apply it to the sores. Let it rest for a few minutes and rinse it off with water. Repeat twice a day.
When to see your doctor?
Canker sores may occur due to hot spicy foods, acidic fruits or vegetables, a minor injury in your mouth during dental treatments, or hormonal imbalances. These canker sores heal by themselves.
When the canker sores are caused due to other diseases or due to zinc or vitamin B12 deficiency, it is better to get medical advice.
So, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment in the following cases.
- when the sores become extremely painful
- you notice new sores forming despite home remedies
- the sores last longer than two weeks
- you have a fever
- you find it very difficult to eat and drink
The bottom line
We have compiled a versatile list of simple and effective home remedies you can use to treat mouth ulcers right at home. However, when the pain gets intolerable or sores last more than two weeks, you must see your doctor.