12 Ways to Get Rid Of Canker Sores
One of the most annoying things we deal with in life, and yet, hardly ever think about is canker sores. I think we all take a healthy, happy mouth for granted until one of these come around. The minute I feel a canker sore I can’t help thinking about how great it is when one does NOT have to deal with a canker sore. They’re just plain obnoxious.
What exactly causes those annoying little ulcers in our mouth? It actually isn’t really known what exactly causes a canker sore- though there are some guesses! Dental appliances such as braces or retainers can help lead to a canker sore, as well as a sharp tooth that rubs against the skin. Some believe vitamin/nutrient deficiency plays a part as well- particularly deficiencies in B-12, zinc, iron, folic acid, and calcium. However, isn’t it interesting that it is also believed that some fruits and veggies can actually cause or lead to canker sores as well! If you have skin in your mouth that is already irritated, highly acidic food such as pineapple, tomatoes or oranges can lead to further irritation, thus causing a canker sore. Injuries in your mouth can also lead to canker sores- anything from rough brushing to skin irritation from a new set of braces. It’s also believed that those who already have weaker immune systems are going to be more prone to canker sores (which I fully believe, as I’m 28 weeks pregnant and feel like I’ve had way more canker sores the past few months than is fair ;) ).
Basically, there is no solid evidence of what exactly causes a canker sore. We just know there are certain things that can egg them on, and that they are extremely uncomfortable! Luckily, you don’t just have to sit there in agony for a week- there are some measures you can take to reduce the pain and duration of those pesky little mouth ulcers!
*Salt water rinse- This can be repeated every few hours as necessary to help alleviate the pain. It can also speed up the healing process by drying out the sore.
*Baking soda- If you want to try something a little different, a baking soda rinse (like a salt water rinse) can be effective as well- it can help reduce inflammation which can also help that sore to leave sooner than later!
*Yogurt- Some believe that yogurt can help get rid of canker sores due to the probiotics. You have to eat at least 1 cup a day for this to be effective, but if you love yogurt, go for it!
*Honey- Honey is just a sweet superfood in disguise! Honey has been shown to significantly help with canker sores- it reduces inflammation, makes them go away, and can even help prevent them! Just apply honey to the sore about 4 times a day.
*Coconut oil- Coconut oil has also shown anti-inflammatory properties, making it another viable option for canker sore treatment. This might be a better option for your teeth as well- honey at bedtime is probably not great for those canines!
*Hydrogen Peroxide- One of the ultimate germ fighters should be able to get rid of canker sores, right? Using a solution of diluted hydrogen peroxide and water, use a cotton ball or Q-tip to apply the solution to the sore a few times a day. You can also do a hydrogen peroxide rinse (with the same “recipe”- one part water to every one part of 3% hydrogen peroxide), but be careful not to swallow!
*Sage- Sage tea has been shown to help with mouth inflammation, and you can actually find sage mouthwashes in stores. Use either of these as a rinse a couple times a day, or make your own by boiling a couple sage leaves in water, straining, and rinsing your mouth once the solution is cooled.
*Apple Cider Vinegar- Are any of us surprised that this made it on the list? ACV is a cure for many things, and canker sores are no exception! Proceed with caution, as it is highly acidic and can be a quite painful method- but if you’re a tough cookie than go for it! Just be sure to do a water rinse afterwards to keep your teeth healthy!
*Zinc lozenges- Since a weak immune system is supposedly one cause of canker sores, you can try battling them by giving yourself a little boost through zinc lozenges.
*Clove oil- This can be a great numbing tool- just apply it to the affected area with a Q-tip to alleviate the pain.
*Melaleuca- I have a bottle of this from Young Living and I swear by it. I apply a small amount to my canker sores and the pain is immediately gone. I have also noticed that when I apply regularly, the sores don’t last nearly as long!
*Matches. I don’t recommend this one, but this is what my husband swears by- he places the tip of a match on his canker sore and holds it for several seconds, until the sore is “burned” away (due to the sulfur). He says it hurts like crazy but it’s totally worth it. I have no desire to try this method, but hey- to each his own!
Different treatments might work better for one person than another, so try experimenting with a few of these to see which is most effective for you! I’m so curious to hear how YOU take care of canker sores- share your remedies in the comments below!
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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