Canker sore is a small, shallow lesion that develops in your mouth or at the base of your gums. It is also called aphthous ulcer. Canker sore is usually white or yellow in the center and surrounded by a ring of red, inflamed soft tissue.
It may be painful making it difficult to talk or enjoy your meal. But as MedlinePlus has stated, unlike cold sore, canker sore is not contagious. Most canker sores heal on its own in a week or two. Check with your doctor if you have large, painful canker sores or canker sores that don’t seem to heal.
Using Natural Remedies For Canker Sores
Although no alternative remedy has been proven effective for canker sores, there are things you can do from the comfort of your own home. Here are some remedies to give you options and check out which one will suit you.
1. Baking Soda
One of the most natural ways to treat canker sore is to mouth rinse. Rinsing with baking soda can make wonders. It is an alkaline base and can neutralize the acids in your mouth that can irritate your canker sore. Baking soda is also known to kill bacteria in your mouth. This can help the canker sore heal fast.
Prepare one teaspoon of baking soda and pour it in a half cup of warm water. Rinse your mouth with the mixture. You can use this mixture as often as needed throughout the day.
2. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 or also called cobalamin is a water-soluble B vitamin. It is important for maintaining nerve cells, producing DNA and RNA, forming red blood cells and making iron function better. B12 also improves the body’s immune system in which it keeps the body withstand stress. One of the known causes for a recurrent canker sore is having a deficiency in B12 .
A nightly dose of vitamin B12 is a simple, effective and low-risk therapy to prevent canker sores.
3. German Chamomile
Chamomile is an herb that has been around for years. It is used as a remedy to a variety of conditions such as sore throats, gingivitis, eczema, psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome, colds, abscesses, and ulcerative colitis.
With German chamomile, there is a compound known as bisabolol or levomenol that has proven to alleviate inflammation. This is known to reduce pain, and at the same time, speeds the healing process of canker sores.
You can put a chamomile tea bag in water for at least one minute. If you are using dried flowers, soak them for three to four minutes. After soaking the tea bag or the dried flowers, apply it to the canker sore and leave it on for about five to ten minutes. Do this at least twice a day.
4. Lady’s Mantle
Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) is astringent, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, and vulnerary. It is a traditional herbal remedy for mouth and throat infections. Lady’s mantle is also known to help ease menopausal ailments, painful menstrual periods and skin rashes.
In one study, 75% of the people who used 3% extract of lady’s mantle relieved discomfort and had its canker sores healed within three days. This is then compared to the 40% who used conventional treatments and 33% who used no treatment.
It has been suggested to apply a gel containing Lady’s mantle three times daily.
5. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is a special licorice extract. It is effective in the healing of recurring canker sores. There was one study where 15 of 20 subjects with canker sores took DGL and experienced improvement within one day. On the third day, the ulcers were completely healed.
Make a mouthwash of powdered DGL mixed with water. You can also take one or two 380 mg chewable tablets of DGL 20 minutes before meals.
When we are in pain, it is normal to be looking for fast relief. But before self-treating, make sure that the ingredients of these remedies are not harmful to each individual taking it.
As per Mayo Clinic, if you have recurring canker sores, it is important to see a doctor. A canker sore that keeps coming back may be because of a more serious condition, such as celiac disease, Behcet’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), HIV/AIDS (suppresses the immune system), or a faulty immune system that attacks healthy cells in your mouth instead of pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria.