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Effective, Unique Remedies for Canker Sores

Updated on February 14, 2015

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Curing the Canker Sore

The canker sore, enemy of all who love citrus fruits and sour candy. These little annoyances have caused many people grief (including myself), yet modern medicine still doesn't seem to have much of an answer for them. Here are a few alternative canker sore remedies that should teach you how to heal your canker sores quickly and relatively painlessly.

Tea Tree Oil: Canker Sore Home Remedies

Tea tree oil is a very good home remedy for canker sores in the mouth, as it acts as a cleanser, an antibiotic, and a numbing agent all at the same time. The bottle will have warnings against ingesting any oil, so you'll need to be careful not to swallow it as you apply. Just put a little tea tree oil on the tip of your finger, or a cotton swap, and apply gently to the whole thing as an effective canker sore home remedy. Fair warning: this will sting a little, and it doesn't taste great. You should notice a numb sensation a little after application.

Spit out any residue, and be sure to rinse your mouth a few times. Be sure to reapply tea tree oil twice daily, or whenever you need a reprieve from the pain. You should notice your canker sores heal much more rapidly, as it helps kill irritating bacteria and sterilize the wound. This is one of the best canker sore home remedies

Liquorice Root Extract: Canker Sore Home Remedies

Liquorice root extract is, you guessed it, derived from the liquorice root. It comes in a powdered extract form, or it can be taken as a pill supplement. I prefer the pure extract, but then again I like the taste. It's also among the most fantastic natural canker sore remedies.

Liquorice root extract is an anti-inflammatory, so it works to calm down the area of your canker sore and allow your body to get to work on the healing. It's also well known for other amazing health benefits, such as anti-viral and immune system boosting properties, so this is a good one to take every day. You can ingest it, apply topically, or take a pill supplement, and all are effective canker sore home remedies. Even if it doesn't help immediately, don't give up, it can take a while. When I'm asked how to heal a canker sore, I often recommend this first.

Baking Soda: Canker Sore Home Remedies

Baking soda is an effective, but painful option as a canker sore home remedy. Applying baking soda directly is a great natural remedy for a canker sore; it will counter the local acidity and dry it up. You can feel this acidity when you feel a canker sore with your tongue; it should taste somewhat metallic. The idea is to shock your system (white blood cells) into dealing with the wound, and in this way baking soda is an effective canker sore medication.

You'll need to apply baking soda regularly in order for it to work, so make sure to do so at least four times a day. Again, it doesn't taste great, but this is a tried and tested canker sore home remedy and it works well if you stick with it.

Milk of Magnesia: Canker Sore Home Remedies

Milk of magnesia is another canker sore home remedy that works similarly to baking soda by counteracting the acidity of the sores themselves.

Milk of magnesia is very effective for someone who has multiple canker sores in their mouth, or canker sores that are not easy to reach to apply topical remedies. It works on the same principles as baking soda above, but is in liquid form. I recommend this when asked how to heal multiple canker sores at once.

Swish milk of magnesia in your mouth for 30 seconds to one minute, and spit it out. I do suggest rinsing your mouth afterwards. Like baking soda, you'll need to repeat this three or four times per day. It's an effective canker sore home remedy, but it is a bit painful.

What To Avoid: Canker Sore Home Remedies

In order to make your canker sore home remedies more effective, you'll need to avoid anything acidic. That includes most candy, so lay off the jolly ranchers for a while. Citrus fruits and most soft drinks will also hinder the healing process.

Your immune system has a lot to do with healing, so make sure to take a multivitamin, get a good amount of sleep, and eat regularly to keep your blood sugar consistent. Canker sore medications like the ones listed above are just a start, diet is the next step.

I also find a clean mouth is important. Rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash can really help!

Good luck!


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I will have to try the Tea Tree oil next time I get one of these. Great information to have.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

      I've never had a canker sore, DIYmommy, but I am always pleased to see discussion of natural healing options. :) Voted up +.