Canker Sores: Home Remedies

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Ulcers anywhere on the body can be uncomfortable, and sometimes painful. When they occur in the mouth, they are usually open ulcers and they cause pain, discomfort and a burning sensation when eating something hot or spicy. Oral ulcers, also called canker sores, can occur anywhere in the mouth- lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of the mouth or on gums. They usually appear white or yellow and have a reddish-border around them. There are many home remedies for mouth sores that you can try to relieve symptoms and allow them to heal.
Canker sores can occur due to many causes and are broadly classified into two types- Traumatic and Aphthous.

What Causes Canker Sores?

The exact cause for the occurrence of canker sores is unknown. However, if we get to the basics – a canker sore occurs when the lining of your cheek, lip, gums, etc., gets damaged. The two different types of canker sores have different causes but irrespective of the causative factor determined, there are many home remedies for mouth sores that you give a try!
home remedies to get rid of canker sores

Traumatic Canker Sores

As the name goes, traumatic canker sores occur due to trauma and result in breaching of the outer lining of the tissues. Common reasons that result in traumatic canker sores are:

  • Accidentally biting the inner side of your cheek
  • Ill-fitting dentures that can traumatise the gums
  • Friction caused due to the sharp edges of teeth
  • Hard brushing that can traumatise your gums or the inner side of your cheeks
  • Consuming very hot food or drinks
  • Eating hard foods like a pizza crust, hard toasted bread, chips etc., can hurt your cheek or palate
  • Using strong toothpaste or mouthwash can erode the inner lining of your mouth

home remedies for mouth ulcers

Aphthous Canker Sores

Home remedies for mouth sores can be different for aphthous and traumatic sores due to their origin. Common causes of aphthous canker sores are:

  • Stress and anxiety can give rise to canker sores
  • Hormonal changes ( common in many women when they are menstruating, experiencing premenstrual symptoms, during pregnancy and menopause
  • Nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Digestive system issues
  • Oral thrush
  • Viral infections
  • Genetic or hereditary causes
  • Skin diseases such as lichen planus
  • Certain medications
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Anaemia

Home remedies for mouth sores

Home Remedies for Canker Sores

Individuals, who are prone to canker sores often wonder “What are the home remedies for mouth sores?”, or “Which is the best home remedy for canker sores?”

Many a time, canker sores also appear in children leading to parents asking “What are some home remedies for canker sores in toddlers?”. There are many home remedies for mouth sores that you can try using simple, common things that you may find around at home.

Some natural home remedies for mouth sores are:

  • Applying a cold compress or a wet tea bag: Ulcers can be painful and applying a cold compress( do not press too hard on the lesion) is popular among the many home remedies for mouth sores.
    Application of cold temperature numbs the area and reduces the burning sensation and the pain for some time. The same effect can also be achieved using a wet tea bag on the area due to the tannins present in the tea.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Using apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular home remedies for mouth sores as the acidity in it is antibacterial in nature and is particularly helpful for aphthous ulcers.
    In order to use this remedy, mix 1 tbsp vinegar in ½ cup warm water and swish it around in your mouth, followed by rinsing with normal water. Doing it 2-3 times a day helps reduce swelling associated with mouth sores.
  • Honey: Honey is a well-known emollient and also has antibacterial properties too. These features of honey make it one of the best home remedies to get rid of canker sores.
    Use a cotton swab, dip it honey and apply it to the affected area. Repeating it a few times in a day for 2-3 days shows a marked reduction in swelling and pain associated with mouth sores.
  • Aloe Vera: Talk of aloe vera and our mind is immediately flooded with its many skin benefits. Application of aloe vera on the affected areas is one of the most effective home remedies for mouth sores. It soothes the ulcer, reduces inflammation and helps the ulcer heal.
  • Cloves: Did you know chewing of a few cloves is one of the well-known home remedies for mouth sores? Well, it’s antibacterial properties further add to the symptomatic relief and also reduce stomach ulcers.
  • Turmeric: The ancient medicinal practises recognized the antibacterial and healing properties of turmeric. Mix some turmeric in water and prepare a paste. Apply this paste to the affected region and wait for a few minutes before you rinse it off.
    It is considered to be one of the best home remedies for canker sores on lip and quickens up the healing.
  • Ghee: Ghee is one of the most sought-after home remedies for mouth sores as it is easily available at most homes. Apply a little ghee with your finger on the affected area and leave it for some time. Repeat it many times throughout the day.

Apart from these, eating a nutritious diet every day, maintaining good oral hygiene, and avoiding the use of or eating foods that can cause an ulcer to form must be followed.

While these are natural home remedies for mouth sores, many a time, the underlying cause needs to be treated by your dentist.

If you have any more home remedies for canker sores, do share with us!

If you are troubled by frequent canker sores, visit your nearest Sabka Dentist clinic to get it checked by our dental expert!

Expert opinion

  • Dr. Reena Waghela Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “In order to prevent and treat some canker sores, your dentist’s intervention may be required.”
  • Dr. Jena Shah Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “There are many home remedies to get relief from them that you can try.”
  • Dr. Rupali Gujar Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “Mouth sores are very common and we all may have suffered from it sometime during our lifetimes.”
  • Dr. Ankita Gada Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “While some of these ulcers come and go, some are chronic or appear too frequently.”


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2 thoughts on “Canker Sores: Home Remedies

  • pragati

    Really useful article

  • pragati

    Really useful article

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