We all have different things that drive us crazy, but I think we can all agree that canker sores are a Universal Human Annoyance. Canker sores are just the WORST! How can something so small cause so much pain and suffering? It’s truly mind-boggling. But that doesn’t mean we can’t put up a fight against them!
In fact, the whole purpose of today’s post is to arm you with the knowledge you need to get rid of canker sores. By the end of this post, you’ll know more about what canker sores are, what causes them, and you’ll have 7 different natural canker sore remedies up your sleeve! These treatments will help both get rid of canker sores and make them less painful.
While no one can prevent canker sores from happening, with the help of this post, you can make them more bearable and help them heal faster!
What Are Canker Sores?
Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that develop on the soft tissues of the mouth. They are not contagious, and usually heal on their own in a week or so.
Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not caused by the herpes virus. If you have a lesion in your mouth that is blistering, has bubbles of clear fluid, or is crusted over, it could be a herpes sore. Check with your doctor to be sure.
What Causes Canker Sores?
The exact cause of canker sores is not well understood, but there are a few things that may trigger them:
- Biting the inside of your mouth
- Overzealous brushing
- Eating spicy or acidic foods
Canker sores usually heal on their own in a week or so, but there are a few ways to minimize the pain and discomfort until it heals. First, avoid eating things that could aggravate a canker sore, including foods that are sharp, crunchy, spicy, or acidic. And second, try out some of the healing and pain-reducing treatments below!
7 Ways To Get Rid Of A Canker Sore
1. Salt Water Rinse
Rinsing out your mouth with salt water is a classic home remedy for mouth sores of any kind. It is a bit painful, but the salt helps to dry out the sore and promote healing.
To do a salt water rinse, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt into 1/2 cup of water water. Swish the solution in your mouth for 15-30 seconds, then spit. Repeat a few times per day as needed until the canker sore disappears.
2. Baking Soda Rinse
Baking soda helps restore pH balance to your mouth and reduce inflammation, which can help heal canker sores. To do a baking soda rinse, dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 cup of water. Swish the solution in your mouth for 15-30 seconds, then spit. Repeat a few times per day as needed.
Scientists suspect there is a link between canker sores and H. pylori, a common human pathogen and one of the most frequent infections experienced worldwide. A 2014 review suggests that the probiotic Lactobacillus can be used to help eliminate H. pylori in adults.
And what is one of the most common and widely available sources of Lactobacillus? Good ol’ live culture yogurt! (Most live culture yogurts are made using a Lactobacillus starter culture.) So in theory, eating live culture yogurt daily may help get rid of those pesky canker sores!
Findings from a 2014 study suggest that honey can be a safe and effective way to reduce canker sore pain, size, and redness. Apply honey to a canker sore four times per day for about a week, or until the sore is healed. (And make sure to use raw honey if you can, as pasteurized honey loses some of its beneficial healing properties during processing.)
5. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic, so it may help heal and prevent canker sores caused by bacteria. To use it, add equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water to a small dish. Dip a cotton ball or swab into the diluted peroxide mixture and apply it to the canker sore. Repeat a few times as needed until it heals.
For more information about hydrogen peroxide and the many, many ways you can use it around the house, check out my eBook Hydrogen Peroxide Magic! You can buy it in my shop, or get it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!
6. Zinc Lozenges
Bacteria can thrive in the presence of a weakened immune system, potentially making you more susceptible to canker sores. Zinc is a crucial mineral for immunity and taking zinc lozenges is one of the easiest ways to get more of it in your system. Zinc lozenges are available online and in most pharmacies, and you can simply follow the dosage instructions on the box.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is known to have antibacterial properties, so it may be helpful in treating canker sores. (However, if you know that acidic foods aggravate your canker sores, you may want to steer clear of this treatment! But it can be a simple and useful treatment for those who aren’t as sensitive to acidic foods and drinks.)
To use this treatment, combine 1 teaspoon of ACV and 1 cup of water. Swish the mixture around in your mouth for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Spit, then rinse your mouth thoroughly with clean water. Repeat daily as needed.
Do you have a preferred method for treating canker sores?