Canker sores are small ulcers that form on the mucous membranes inside the mouth. They appear as red swellings with a white or yellow center. The ulcers can be extremely painful and make it uncomfortable for sufferers to eat or talk. In most cases, canker sores are not a serious concern and will heal without scarring within two weeks. However, if you are still suffering from canker sores even after 2 weeks, you should see an ENT specialist as bacterial infections can get into the body through the open sore.
People who smoke, consume alcohol, have weak immune systems, eats a lot of junk food, consumes tobacco are more susceptible to canker sores. Don’t forget that one of the most common symptoms of mouth cancer is a small sore that does not heal immediately.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at these thirteen simple home remedies to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and speed the healing process.
Use the back of a spoon to crush an uncoated aspirin tablet into powder. Add a few drops of water to form a paste. Apply it to the canker sore for instant pain relief. If the sore is on the inside of a lip, simply tuck a whole aspirin tablet between the lip and gums and leave it there until it dissolves. Aspirin is an analgesic and can be highly effective when used topically on minor mouth ulcers.
Add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and stir until it is dissolved. Take a sip and swish it around your mouth for about 60 seconds before spitting it out. Salt is a natural antiseptic and will help draw fluid from the sore to speed healing.
3. Aloe Vera
If you have an Aloe Vera houseplant, you have a natural remedy for canker sores. Use a sharp knife to cut into one of the fleshy leaves and squeeze it to extract the thick fluid inside. Apply the gel directly to the sore several times a day. Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory and can help to sooth pain and reduce swelling.
4. Baking Soda
Create a paste from baking soda and water and apply it directly to the sore. Leave it there for up to an hour or until it dissolves, then rinse your mouth out with water. Baking soda neutralizes acid from food, which can contribute to canker sore pain. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce swelling. The baking soda also forms a seal over the sore to protect it as it heals.
5. Clove Oil
Clove oil is available in pharmacies and health food shops. It can cause irritation, so should be diluted with an equal amount of olive oil before use. Apply the solution to the canker sore with a cotton swab. It may burn for a few seconds, but will then relieve pain for up to two hours. Clove oil is a natural local anesthetic commonly used for treating toothache.
6. Coriander Seeds
Crush a tablespoon of coriander seeds in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Bring two cups of water to the boil, add the seeds and simmer for five minutes. Strain the liquid, allow it to cool and transfer to a bottle or jar. Rinse your mouth with the solution several times a day. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of coriander will help the sore to heal more quickly.
7. Honey and Turmeric
Mix equal parts of honey and turmeric to form a thick paste. Use a cotton swab to apply it to the canker sore and leave for five minutes before rinsing your mouth. Continue the treatment twice daily until the sore is healed. Honey is anti-inflammatory and will help to ease swelling, while turmeric acts as a natural antiseptic and cooling agent.
Pop an ice cube into your mouth and hold it against the sore until it melts. It won’t help the sore to heal, but the cold will numb the pain. You can also get temporary relief by drinking ice tea or eating popsicles. Avoid acidic cold drinks such as cola or lemonade as these may irritate the sore.
9. Tea Bag
Make a cup of ordinary black tea, then take out the tea bag and chill it in the refrigerator. Put the cold tea bag into your mouth and press it against the ulcer. Leave it to work for about 15 minutes. Tanic acid in the tea is an astringent which helps to decrease pain and shrink down the sore.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
Dilute 3% hydrogen peroxide with an equal amount of water and apply it to the canker sore with a cotton swab three or four times a day. Hydrogen peroxide is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It will help reduce swelling and decrease healing time.
11. Cayenne Pepper
Mix a teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper with a little water and apply the paste to the affected area. Initially you may feel a burning sensation, but this will soon ease and the canker sore pain will be reduced. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper temporarily numbs the nerves in the mouth that transmit pain.
Onions – a secret nutritional superstar. Peel and chop a small onion and puree it in a blender or food processor. Apply the onion paste to the canker sore with a cotton swab several times a day. Alternatively, put a slice of raw onion in your mouth and press it against the affected area with your tongue. Sulfur compounds in onions help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Alum is a white powder used for pickling and canning food. It can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets. Dampen a cotton swab with water and coat the tip with alum. Apply it to the sore for approximately five minutes, then thoroughly rinse your mouth. The drawback to this treatment is that the alum stings at first and has a very bitter taste. However, many people find that it effectively numbs pain, reduces inflammation and accelerates healing.
A canker sore can hinder your quality of life, but with these natural home remedies, one can get it healed up quickly. However, if your canker sores are unusually large, painful, lasts more than 3 weeks or doesn’t respond to these home treatments, it is important to see an ent specialist in Bangalore immediately for further analysis and treatment.