Mouth ulcers happen to nearly everyone at some point in their life. Though many people think they are the same thing as a cold sore, they aren’t. Cold sores are a direct result of the herpes virus, while mouth ulcers – also known as canker sores – have not yet had a cause identified by the medical community. Triggered by a number of reasons, including stress, hormonal changes, too much acidic food, food allergies, an impaired immune system, or sometimes even a sharp tooth, those who suffer from mouth ulcers often experience them three or more times a year. Regardless of the frequency of occurrence, however, a mouth ulcer means you’ll be seeking relief. The following are seven home remedies for mouth ulcers that can help relieve pain and/or heal your canker sores fast.
1. Gargle with Salt.
As probably the number one treatment for nearly every ailment, salt can help heal your mouth ulcers fast. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of iodized salt (it must be a salt with iodine in it) in one cup of warm water, gargle and swish it around your mouth for about 20 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat this several times a day. If you don’t want to use salt, you can use baking soda instead. Just mix 1 teaspoon baking soda in a 1/2 cup of warm water.
2. Ice It!
Applying ice to a mouth ulcer can provide immediate relief to the pain. While it won’t help it go away, intermittent applications by either holding the ice on the canker sore or sucking on ice chips will make it feel a lot better. You may also rinse your mouth with ice water. One important thing to remember when you make a habit out of relieving the pain of a canker sore, is that you can lose track of how long the ulcer has been there. If the mouth ulcer doesn’t go away within a week, you should see a dentist or doctor about it being a potential cancerous lesion.
3. Rinse with a Benadryl Mix.
Making your own concoction at home can be better than any pre-made remedy. Simply mix equal parts of Benadryl (or any other similar diphenhydramine product) with an equal amount of Maalox or Kaopectate. You may also mix it with Milk of Magnesia. Swirl around in your mouth for about one minute, but be sure to spit it out after you rinse.
4. Try Milk of Magnesia – All By Itself.
Milk of Magnesia has been known to help heal mouth ulcers quickly. Milk of Magnesia can restore balance to the soft tissue in your mouth by flushing any toxins or extra acidity out of the ulcer via the process of drawing extra water into the area. Apply a small amount of milk of magnesia onto your canker sore several times a day for best results.
5. Sage Rinse
Like many herbs, sage has healing properties that work uniquely to heal brutal mouth ulcers. When steeped in boiling water, sage makes a great rinse to soothe and heal your cankers fast. Just add 3 teaspoons of sage leaves to 16 ounces of boiling water, let sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse with the warm, sage-infused water a few times a day until it goes away. Sage also works well when applied directly to your mouth ulcer. In order to do this, crush the sage leaves into a powder and press on your sore directly.
6. Apply Cayenne Pepper
There are properties of cayenne pepper that have a variety of uses in holistic healing which is one of the best home remedies for mouth ulcers. The main component of cayenne pepper that helps heal you mouth ulcers is capsaicin – which can desensitize the nerves that transmit pain (at least, temporarily). This is not a remedy for everyone, however, because cayenne pepper may end up being more of an irritant for some people than a viable solution.
7. Eliminate Toothpaste
Many types of toothpaste contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which has been known to both trigger mouth ulcers and aggravate those you already have. It acts as a thickening agent in the toothpaste and makes it easier to smooth across your teeth, but studies indicate it may be a direct trigger of canker sores. While you are experiencing an outbreak of mouth ulcers, you may want to substitute baking soda for your toothpaste (a 50/50 mix of baking soda and water works well), or find a mild toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
When dealing with mouth ulcers, it’s best to remember that everyone’s body chemistry is different, so some remedies may work better than others for you. Canker sores shouldn’t normally last more than a week, though, so if your mouth ulcers are still present after 10 days, be sure to check with a medical professional.