What causes Canker Sore

Home Remedies for a Canker Sore You Should Know

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The canker sore is very common in my household. While it is not contagious, the discomfort is unpleasant. For me, the most annoying is having difficulties eating. Here, I will share with you some home remedies for a canker sore. At the Corner of My Home, it is all about herbs and spices. So, let’s find out which herb can “spice” that mouth ulcer.

What Is It

Canker SoreUsually, I call it the mouth ulcer. My son is most familiar with it because it mostly happens to him.  At times, two ulcers would appear at the same period of time. Made worse, if they combine to become one big crater.

The canker sore is also known as aphthous ulcer while its medical term is aphthous stomatitis.

It is small, shallow lesions that grow on the soft tissue in your mouth. It usually appears on the inside of the cheeks or lips, on the tongue, the upper surface of the mouth or the base of the gums. It is either in white, greyish or yellowish in colour with a red border.

What Causes Canker Sore

It is not entirely clear what causes a canker sore to develop. It is possibly due to any or a combination of several factors that include the following.

Oral injuries. The lining inside your mouth, including gums and lip, are delicate. Hence, you need to be careful while brushing your teeth. Best to avoid aggressive teeth brushing.

Also, biting the inside of the lip or cheek while eating can cause a canker sore.

Stress. Your emotional state affects health. We know this very well. How does this relate to mouth ulcers? Too much stress can weaken your immune system. Thus, more susceptible to ulcers.

On top of that, stress can cause a digestive imbalance and leads to acid reflux. Hence, ulcers may act up.

Stress and hormonal changes may lead to growth of the canker sore

Hormonal changes. Blame it on the hormones? Many women’s health conditions or issues are related to hormonal changes. Do you agree? Is canker sore one of them?

While there is no scientific research to back this claim, many women reported having suffered from an increase of canker sores before or during menstruation.

Acidic or spicy food. If you are sensitive to acidic or spicy food, it may upset the immune response in your mouth. Thus, making you prone to developing mouth ulcers.

Avoid spicy food and increase vitamin supplements to avoid getting a canker sore

Vitamin deficiencies. Insufficient vitamins and minerals in your daily diet can affect the health condition of your mouth, especially so for folic acid, iron, zinc and Vitamin B12.

A study achieved at the JABFM - Journal of the American Board of the Family Medicine, has this conclusion

‘Vitamin B12 treatment, which is simple, inexpensive, and low-risk, seems to be effective for patients suffering from RAS, regardless of the serum vitamin B12 level.’

It is shown that the Vitamin B12 supplement helped reduce the amount of pain from the canker sores, the number of outbreaks and the number of ulcers experience in a month.

RAS - Recurrent aphthous stomatitis, also called canker sores.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). This is a common ingredient found in your toothpaste. It is a synthetic detergent, also a foaming substance used to clean your teeth and why you see the foam. This additive has been linked to the occurrence of the canker sore.

A clinical study achieved at NCBI - The National Center for Biotechnology Information, has this result

A statistically significant reduction in recurrent aphthous ulcers was observed during 2 months' use of SLS-free dentifrice compared to 2 months' use of the SLS-containing dentifrice.

If you are prone to getting canker sore, it is best to use SLS-free oral health products. Here are a few recommendations.

The symptoms

You will probably know an ulcer is about to develop if you are used to getting one or two every now and then. If not, I will explain briefly here.

The first symptom is a mild tingling sensation in the area where the ulcer will appear. It usually takes a few days to flare up. Then, you will see a red border surrounding the inflamed ulcer, which is white, greyish or yellowish in colour. Of course, the pain and discomfort would have escalated by then. The worst ulcer – even to touch it with your tongue would cause PAIN.

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Do NOT confuse yourself with cold sores, also known as fever blisters. Cold sores are contagious, but canker sores are NOT. Cold sore is caused by a virus and found outside the mouth around the lips, on the cheeks or chin, or inside the nostril.

Most canker sores do not require any treatment as they will heal on its own and disappear in about seven to ten days. However, I am sure you do not want to prolong the discomfort - talking can be painful too – the first 3 to 4 days are the worst.

Simple natural home remedies can help reduce the pain and inflammation. It will speed up the healing process and you will be able to enjoy your food. Is it not good to know?

Here goes…

Home Remedies for a Canker Sore

Home RemediesRinse your mouth with salt water. Yes! Isn’t it the easiest. This is best done when you first notice the tingling sensation – an ulcer is about to pop.

When I say home remedies, surely you don’t expect using salt alone. Mother Nature gives us amazing herb plants – use them!

Cilantro

CilantroOne of the best herbs for treating mouth ulcer. Its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties are effective in helping to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by the ulcer.

Simply boil a glass of water with a handful of cilantro. Strain the solution and allow the water to cool. Gargle with the lukewarm water at least three or four times a day.

Coriander

CorianderThis is the seeds of the cilantro herb plant. If you do not have fresh cilantro, use the seeds form.

Just boil a cup of water and add one teaspoon of coriander. Steep For 5 - 10 minutes and strain. Gargle with it at least three or four times a day.

Sage

SageThis is another herb to treat mouth ulcers at home. Its calming property gives immediate relief from the pain and inflammation.

Simply add a handful of sage leaves to two cups of boiling water. Steep for 10 – 15 minutes. Strain and allow to cool. Use it to gargle three to four times a day.

Alternatively, apply powdered sage leaves directly on the ulcer and leave it for a few minutes. Repeat several times a day till it heals.

Parsley

Parsley imageAnother amazing herb. You should not treat it just as a garnish. Most often, you see the restaurants doing it.

It contains iron and folate which help in combating mouth ulcer. Simply chew on some fresh parsley. Furthermore, it helps to freshen your breath.

Basil

BasilOne of the most common herbs used in cooking. It is a significantly valuable herb. With its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural ingredient to prevent infections and calm a mouth ulcer.

You may either chew on the leaves or steep the leaves in hot water and use it as a mouthwash. Repeat three to four times a day.

Cayenne

Cayenne PepperIsn’t this the spicy ingredient that I should be avoiding? I hear you asking. Cayenne contains capsaicin, a compound that briefly numbs the nerves that cause pain. Also, it helps inhibit bacteria growth and inflammation.

Add some water to cayenne to make a paste. Use a cotton swab to apply the paste to your mouth ulcer. Reapply two to three times a day. This will ease the pain and helps the healing.

All in All

Canker sore or commonly called mouth ulcer is not a serious issue but it causes a lot of discomfort and pain.

Before you rush out to your nearest pharmacy to buy over-the-counter medication, check if you have the herbs and spices mentioned. These are commonly used for every day cooking. Why not make good use of the herbs and spices you already have.

The herbs may not heal the canker sore immediately, especially if it already flared up. However, the natural home remedies mentioned can ease the pain.

If you are prone to getting the canker sore, avoid acidic and spicy food. In addition, remember to check out the SLS-free toothpaste. Also, consider supplementing vitamins and minerals to your daily diet.

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You may even contemplate growing your own herbs. Do not let “I don’t know how” or “I have limited space” be the excuses for not doing so.  It can be a fun process and when you harvest your own herbs, I can see the sense of satisfaction in you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have herbs for cooking or remedies at your fingertips all year round?

Please leave a comment

How do you feel using these home remedies for a canker sore? Besides the mentioned causes, for you - what causes a canker sore? Share with us your experience so that we can learn from each other. I look forward to your comments.

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If you find this blog post interesting, please share it with anyone that you think might find it useful. Thank you and have a good day!

From the Corner of My Home – Spice Up Your Life with Herbs and Spices

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Sharon

While on my quest to learn all about herbs and spices and their uses, I am sharing my knowledge and experience here. Hoping to help you in using them wisely and effectively. On a separate note, I learned how to build this website at Wealthy Affiliate University. If you have a passionate topic and want to share it too, click here to learn how to share what you love – on your own website! Thereupon, turn your passion into profit. It is FREE to join. Get started now!

9 Replies to “Home Remedies for a Canker Sore You Should Know

  1. Hello Sharon,
    Awesome read. I love your articles, they are so informative. I have shared this to my network as well. I did not know about these herbs and what they can do for the canker sore. I did not even realize that the toothpaste could be a cause…thanks for all these tips and insights. I will certainly pay attention to my toothpaste and look at your recommendation too.
    Keep up the great job!
    Michelle

    1. Hello Michelle,

      Most times, we do not realize simple things in daily life can affect our well-being. In this case, the toothpaste. We rarely check what the ingredients were. Even though we do, how would we know their effects? Good or bad. Hopefully, my sharing will be helpful to those who wish for natural solutions to their issues.

      Thanks for dropping by.
      Sharon

  2. Hi. I have always suffered from sores. There is a lot of new information for me in this publication. I did not know about coriander, cilantro, sage, parsley, basil, and cayenne.
    I always use baking soda and lemon to clean the sores, but that’s painful.
    I will try to use them.
    It is also a new fact for me what you say about the SLS in toothpaste, I knew that this component was harmful and even this in other products such as shampoo and detergents. I just talked about the SLS in a post I recently published about natural or organic shampoo.

    Thank you very much

    1. Hi,

      SLS was new to me too. There is so much to learn about chemical compounds in our daily consumable goods – products that should be avoided. I believe in going back to basics – natural products. I am glad that you are on this path too. Talking about natural or organic shampoo, you may be interested to find out how do herbs help in managing hair care

      Sharon 

  3. Ugh… know exactly what you are talking about. In my family, these ugly ulcers are common too. Although we do not get them very often, we do get them.

    I remember the first time I had one. I was still very young and my parents had never seen such a thing. I could hardly eat for a week until my dad finally agreed to take me to the pharmacy and find something for me.

    Ever since, I have used Kanka, a very well known treatment for canker sores. However, it is new to me that herbs can be used to prevent or treat them.

    I do have a small herb garden, and also a few of the herbs you mention here. I am going to try that for sure next time. Let me see how that works.

    Oh… and I almost feel as I am getting another canker sore by reading through your article…. just kidding..

    Thanks for sharing this great information. There are things I did not know about canker sores before.

    Oscar

    1. Hello Oscar,

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience here.

      I didn’t know canker sore was mouth ulcer until I read up about it. My son has been getting them often since young. And we would usually use OTC treatment which tastes awful. 

      I am always on the lookout for herbs and spices usage and glad to have found they can help treat a canker sore. 

      Do let me know how these remedies work out for you when you have a ‘chance’ to use them.

      Good day!

      Sharon

  4. Hello Sharon,
    This is a very informative and well written post. I never knew about SLS, and I’ll defiantly stop my aggressive teeth brushing. My grand dad, back in South Africa, had a lot of home remedies to ease things like stomach ache and muscle pain. So, I really appreciate the section on home remedies. Nice bit about Parsley. I never knew how much it could do for your the health of your mouth.

    A lot of doctors believe that your mouth can often indicate overall health because when something is wrong with the body it’s often reflected in the healthiness of our mouth. Thanks for sharing such useful information.

    1. Hello Thabo.

      I only found out about SLS while researching for this post. And something as simple as the toothpaste can cause great discomfort.

      You are correct – the mouth can indicate our overall health. If we are mindful to notice it. I have learned that if we have a bad breath, it means our body is heaty. In another word – high acidity. Means it is time to consume more alkaline food. Parsley is one of them. Another reason for you to consume more parsley 😉

      Thanks for dropping by and the share.
      Sharon

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