For somebody like me who is particularly careful about oral health and dental hygiene, when I developed a case of canker sores, I was in a state of shock. Having been so careful at all times about the health of my mouth, a case of canker sores was a bolt for me! Over the counter medication for the sores seemed to be ineffective on me and with each day, my inability to eat, talk or even drink without discomfort, made me more irritable and annoyed. That’s when I sat down and found some simple home remedies for canker sores that I tried and felt better in a couple of days. Medication, proper caution and the following remedies together can work wonders for you as well.
Although these sores are rather small and insignificant in size, trust me when I say they can be a nuisance. These sores that are white in the centre with a red halo can form on your lips, inside the mouth, and even on your tongue – not to forget your throat. Though not contagious, they can be reason for sudden fever and sluggishness.
There’s a litany of simple and easy to do at home remedies with ingredients that occupy the shelf space in our kitchens, but it is important to know if you are allergic to any of these ingredients before you try them. So what are you waiting for? Read on!
Canker Sores Home Remedies
Combine a few spoons of honey with one quarter a teaspoon of turmeric. A sweet remedy you are sure to love, honey when combined with turmeric will relieve both pain and inflammation while also being antiseptic. Apply the paste generously on the sores and let it stay for about 20 minutes. Don’t get tempted and lick it off!
A staple in most Indian kitchens, coriander’s medicinal properties are often underplayed. Coriander has antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that not just alleviate symptoms of canker sores, but also bring the condition under control.
Boil a teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water. If you do not stock the seeds, the leaves will do just fine! Strain the solution and use it as a mouth rinse. If you are not a fussy person, you can drink the juice of fresh coriander leaves for best results. Make sure you do not gulp it in one go. Allow the juice to make contact with the sores before you swallow them!
3. Baking soda:
Baking soda is yet another home remedy for canker sores that is simple yet effective. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that will help reduce canker sores and alleviate symptoms, giving you immense relief.
Simply make a paste of baking soda and apply the paste onto the affected areas. Within a few days, you will feel the symptoms vanish. Baking soda will also restore the pH balance in your mouth.
4. Try Aloe Vera:
Even ancient Indian texts and scriptures on medicine highly recommend the use of aloe vera that has curative powers- antibacterial and antiseptic that will help you bid goodbye to those nagging sores.
Squeeze out some juice from the meaty portion of the plant and apply on the sores. Alternatively, mix the extract with hydrogen peroxide, salt and baking soda (1 teaspoon each), use it as a rinse for best results.
5. Ice Ice baby:
Ice will act as a numbing agent and also kill germs by bringing the temperature down below the survival of sore causing bacteria and germs.
Keep cold water with ice handy to get instant mouth relief. Holding an ice cube directly over the sore can be the best pain killer ever!
6. Cayenne pepper:
A spicy remedy, this one is sure to help you with canker sores. Cayenne pepper has capsaicin which is capable of numbing the nerves and thus, relieving you of the pain associated with canker sores.
Time to ball up your wrists! Apply some cayenne pepper juice onto the sore, it is sure to cause some initial irritation, but will soon begin working on the sores.
7. A natural disinfectant:
Tea tree oil is often touted by many as one of the most effective treatments to fight canker sores. The oil is rich in antibacterial and antiseptic compounds that will help in treating canker sores and will minimize the risk of the occurrence of the sores again.
Rinse your mouth often with tea tree oil mixed in equal proportions of water. You can also use a cotton swab to gently apply the herbal oil on the sores.
8. Use Sage:
Sage has been used since time immemorial to treat myriad skin problems. Its calming properties make it a great remedy to alleviate the symptoms of even a bad case of canker sores.
Add a few leaves of sage or its powder when you boil water for tea. This makes your tea heavenly to taste and will treat your sores too. Alternately, like many other simple remedies, you can also rinse your mouth with sage. Make a tea like concoction using sage.
9. Onions will make sores cry:
While many would detest the idea, onions cut and held/applied directly on to canker sores will help cure them faster, thanks to the onions’ anti-bacterial properties. You may also apply the juice of onion that is rich in sulfur on the sores, three to four times a day for maximum absorption. So do not turn up your nose to this remedy. Try it and you will be bewildered at how the sores disappear!
Applying alum wherever you have a sore is known to reduce or relieve the pain. But beware – this is accompanied with a slight burning sensation. The next time you go grocery shopping, bring home some alum.
While these are a few of the many remedies that are praised for their high success rates, it is also prudent that you take preventive measures so that you do not succumb to canker sores again.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Recurrent Canker Sores
1. Be careful with that toothbrush:
Do not share your toothbrush, this is the most basic part of dental hygiene. If you still develop canker sores, instantly shift to a very soft bristle brush and be careful about your brushing technique. Switch to an SLS free toothpaste, for studies suggest that SLS can make the tissues of the mouth tender and increase the risk of contracting canker sores.
2. Say NO to Smoking:
Yes, you heard it right. Any doctor will recommend ‘no smoking’ if you have canker sores and it is also the best way to fasten the healing process.
3. Avoid eating problem foods:
Crunchy food like chips, popcorn and other Indian snacks can cut the insides of your cheek and mouth and induce sores. Studies suggest that citrus foods can also trigger canker sores. Pinpoint and identify your sensitivities and strike them off your diet if you are prone to canker sores.
4. Reduce stress:
Many people complain of the emergence of these sores at times that they are overburdened at work or going through a tough personal life crisis. Explore relaxation techniques as a preventive measure