Canker sores usually are a mild inconvenience and yet they can be an annoyance, making themselves noticeable via some irritation typically accompanied by slight pain. There are, however, a variety of simple remedies that can help you get rid of them fairly quickly.
What Are Canker Sores?
The proper name for canker sores are aphthous ulcers, which are small lesions that appear on the surface of the soft tissue of the mouth or on the gums, per mayoclinic.com. Minor canker sores usually only last for one or two weeks and then disappear, thankfully without leaving a scar. However, major canker sores can go deeper and last longer, with the potential to leave scar tissue. Fortunately, most incidents of canker sores are classified as minor.
Per webmd.com, doctors have not been able to determine a precise cause of canker sores, although a variety of factors can precede the occurrence of canker sores, perhaps most commonly related to a combination of factors, per mayoclinic.com. These can include stress, a diet lacking in certain nutrients (i.e., zinc and Vitamin B12), an allergic response to Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria in the mouth, or a minor injury related to dental work, brushing, or something else.
Remedies for Canker Sores
Even though most canker sores are minor, they can be painful, so they are worth treating. Following are various remedies that have shown effectiveness in hastening the disappearance of canker sores. Because many canker sores result from multiple sources, it is advisable to try a few of these simple remedies to get rid of them:
- Yogurt is worth considering if you are trying to get rid of a canker sore, per healthline.com. Because your canker sore might be caused by H. pylori, the probiotic bacteria in yogurt is a good bet to rid your mouth of H. pylori. One cup of yogurt a day should help, assuming this bacteria is indeed the cause of your canker sore.
- Nutrient supplements such as Vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid, and iron can be helpful in remedying a canker sore, per webmd.com. This is because canker sores are often caused by a nutrient deficiency, with such nutrients found in the right foods. However, if you want to ensure that you’re consuming enough of these nutrients, a nutritional supplement can help do the trick as a fill-in.
- Hydrogen peroxide solution. When used correctly, it can help get rid of canker sores because of its effectiveness in fighting bacteria (in this case, H. pylori), per healthline.com. It is recommended that hydrogen peroxide be mixed with water and applied to a cotton swab, which can then be applied to the canker sore. Do this two or three times a day. A well-diluted hydrogen peroxide mix can also be effective.
- Salt water rinse is a very simple remedy that may be effective, per merakilane.com. Mixing salt into warm water, and swishing this in your mouth twice a day, may help to relieve the pain and shorten the duration of a canker sore.
- Milk of magnesia contains magnesium hydroxide, which is anti-acidic, and can also work to hasten a canker sore’s disappearance, per healthline.com. It can also help relieve the pain that comes with canker sores. Applying milk of magnesia to the canker sore for a few seconds, and then rinsing, should be done three times each day.
- Coconut oil is another remedy that might help both by treating the pain of a canker sore, and reducing its longevity, per merakilane.com. Coconut oil contains antimicrobial properties, which can be helpful in ridding the H. pylori bacteria that might be the root of your canker sore. Coconut oil can also help relieve the redness and pain often associated with canker sores. Apply three times daily directly to the sore.