Canker Sores: A Pain in the Mouth

June 6, 2016
Canker Sore

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Ever had a canker sore? These small white lesions can appear anywhere inside the mouth, including the gums, tongue, and inside of the lips.  They can make eating and drinking mighty uncomfortable for a week or more. 

What are Canker Sores?

Canker sores are whitish, red-bordered, slightly-cratered sores inside the mouth. Medical science knows that these commonly occurring sores by the somewhat frightening names, aphthous stomatitis, or aphthous ulcers. Women are more susceptible to canker sores than men, and some people seem more likely to get them than others.

The good news: unlike cold sores*, they aren’t infectious, so you can’t spread them to others or to other parts of your own body.

What Causes Canker Sores?

Brought on by stress, allergies, gluten sensitivity, hormonal changes, injury to the mouth, dental work, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, or—most commonly—unknown causes, canker sores typically heal without treatment within a week or two.

But experts recommend consulting your healthcare professional if:

  • A canker sore bleeds, oozes, or crusts over.
  • You experience fever or severe, long-lasting pain.
  • Your canker sore is unusually large and persistent.
  • You suffer frequently recurring canker sores, which may suggest an underlying disease.

How to Prevent Canker Sores

To help prevent recurrent canker sores, healthcare professionals suggest:

  • Avoiding toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Reflecting on what trigger foods or drinks might be the culprit. Common triggers: walnuts, strawberries, eggs, cheese, chocolate, spicy foods.
  • Consulting your orthodontist if sharp edges on braces, dental retainers, or other dental appliances irritate your mouth.

Canker Sore Remedies

You can choose from a variety of prescription and over-the-counter products to soothe the pain and accelerate healing. I suffered a series of painful canker sores last winter, before dicovering my increased intake of walnuts as the culprit.

My favorite natural remedy: a soothing cup of warm sage/chamomile tea, swooshing it around as a mouthwash while I sipped.

Another remedy is to simply rinse your mouth with baking soda (dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 cup warm water).

It also can help to blot your sores with milk of magnesia a few times a day.

To find relief from pain, let some ice chips dissolve in your mouth.
Also, be sure to use a very soft toothbrush and try a sensitive toothpaste, nothing abrasive.

* Don’t confuse canker sores with cold sores. Cold sores (“fever blisters”), caused by the herpes simplex virus, occur on the outside of the mouth, typically on or around the lips. Often brought on by stress or hormonal changes, they appear as red, painful, fluid-filled blisters that are highly contagious.

About This Blog

"Living Naturally" is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that's good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, ideas to make your home a healthy and safe haven, and the latest news on health. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it's relearning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better, healthier lives.

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Simple Canker Sore Solution/Cure

Several European friends told me that gargling with or just swooshing Sunflower Seed Oil in the mouth is a perfect remedy for canker sores. They were right - it never fails to work! Especially good just before going to sleep after your dental hygiene routine. The sunflower seed oil has a pleasant nutty taste.

Sunflower seed oil

Sounds good! Natural, flavorful, easy to come by, not likely to cause side effects. Appropriate for the whole family. What you want in a good home remedy. Thanks for the tip, Enid.

Sunflowerseed Oils;

Using Oils as a "mouth wash cure" is known as "Oil Pulling"; any type of oil works; you gargle with the oil for about 5 minutes; "gets germs"; they say Canker is not caused by a germ; however; I got some bad canker sores solely by shaking someone hand is how I got had them!;
I read the comments; I would go with "Oils; Vitamins; Lysine; " which is basically Herbal extracts including "Goldenseal";
Goldenseal is "the Mother of Herbs";(imo); interesting !!!

Canker Sores

This works really well, but initially will give a brief burning sensation. Swish some Listerine, or equivalent in your mouth and keep it up until the burning mostly subsides. When you get through that, the sores will stop hurting and will heal very quickly. Yes, there's a bit of pain involved, but it will immediately neutralize the outbreak and you will be very glad you did this.

Canker Sore remedy

Regarding Silver Nitrate. My mom used to use Silver Nitrate (liquid, applied by Q-Tip) on our canker sores. It always worked. The problem is that if you get it on your teeth, it will turn your teeth black. So we had to keep our lips away from our teeth until the Nitrate "dried" so it wouldn't discolor our teeth.

Easier, painfree, organic way to heal cankers overnight

It's a product you're more likely to find in a health food store or online. It's a soft pocket size balm stick. you use your finger tip to swipe some off the stick and apply to sore inside mouth. Heals very quickly, overnight, for some perhaps 2 days. It really works like nothing else. Doesn't hurt or taste bad. Won't work if the mouth ulcer from acidic food or Crohns Disease.

Canker remedy

I always use tums. Take one and let it dissolve on the sore. It hurts but then heals within a day or 2. I used to get them so bad they would go down my throat and I couldn't eat. Take a tablespoon of Mylanta and swish and swallow it about 15 min before eating and it numbs your mouth.

Canker Sore remedy possibility

I used to get them as a kid every once in a while at my grandparents house (don't ask). Anyway, my grandpa would always put a daub of Campho-phenique on them. Stung for a second, but then it numbed it and went away. It came in a little green bottle. I don't know if they still make it, but it sure worked!

L-lysine will clear it up

L-lysine will clear it up really quick. Lysine is an amino acid that protects your mouth and helps to create healthy saliva.
Take around 5000mg and once again before bed! Works like a charm.

canker sore

Just so I make myself clear I should of been the poster boy for this ....And now I truly believe Vitamin D is the cure for it..If you you are suffering from constant outbreaks like I was "GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR" get your vitamin levels checked. These sores are not natural like most people treat them ...there is a cause, And there is most likely is a treatment.

canker sore

Well I suffered for 3-4 years with this ..constant outbreaks with canker sores, was hard to even eat was so bad .. until I had enough and went to my doctor ....found out low vitamin D can cause this, and after blood work to check vitamin level's my vitamin D was extremely low... so low in fact my doctor had never seen it that low . He said probably in simple terms so I could understand what the numbers meant that my Vitamin D level was 2-3 out of 10. I take vitamin D every day and the sores are history. So just take vitamin D and get a blood test done .


The best preventative we found is the toothpaste without sodium laurel sulfate, but they still pop up on occasion. I had a dentist once tell me to use cotton soaked with vitamin e, maybe that would work for others.

Canker sores

Adults: 500 mg l-lysine and 1 capsule probiotic 3 times a day with 8 oz water.
Child-under 12: 250mg l-lysine and 1 capsule probiotic 3 times a day (if the child is under 5 crush and put in applesauce or yogurt)
The sores will be gone within 24 hours. L-lysine and the probiotic can be found anywhere-Walmart, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, anywhere that sells vitamins. You will be amazed at how quickly and effectively that this works.

Canker sores

Adults: 500 mg l-lysine and 1 capsule probiotic 3 times a day with 8 oz water.
Child-under 12: 250mg l-lysine and 1 capsule probiotic 3 times a day (if the child is under 5 crush and put in applesauce or yogurt)
The sores will be gone within 24 hours. L-lysine and the probiotic can be found anywhere-Walmart, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, anywhere that sells vitamins. You will be amazed at how quickly and effectively that this works.

canker sores

you can also swish hydrogen peroxide for a few min a couple of times a day

Canker Sores

I agree with Joe, I recently started some new medications and one caused blisters (Canker Sores)in my mouth and on my tongue, until I swished with hydrogen peroxide did I find something that actually worked and I immediately felt better (I tried several different mouth washes). When they started to hurt I would swish again (every couple of hours) with hydrogen peroxide by the next day I felt much better and by the third day they were gone.

Extreme Remedy

If you can handle the few seconds of pain, you can use a Silver Nitrate stick to chemical burn the sore. You will have to get a perscription to buy them and you have to be Very Careful using the stick. After the initial pain, there is no more pain and I think they heal faster.

Canker sores

Old remedy is to apply tooth paste several times a day, it will be gone in a couple days. The tooth paste taste better than alum and heals just as fast. Of course you have to use tooth that contains a form of alum

Canker Sore remedy

I've had canker sores all my life, usually related to excess consumption of acidic foods and/or excessive stress (which raises the acid level in the body). The one thing that consistently works overnight to eliminate the canker sore, is to swish and rinse my mouth thoroughly with a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. I keep a small medicine cup (about 1 oz., the kind that comes with kids' cough medicine) in my cabinet with a bottle of peroxide. If I have a canker sore, or notice on coming on, I fill the cup halfway with peroxide and add water to the top. Then I swish the cupful of liquid in my mouth for about 15 seconds after I brush my teeth, right before I go to bed. The canker sore no longer hurts when I wake up, and is often gone by the morning. If it isn't, I repeat the procedure the following night and it will be.

Canker sores.

Kenalog steroid paste always works

Aphthous ulcers

As a dental practitioner, I agree, avoid SLS toothpaste, and use Kenalog ointment from the pharmacy (it contains a small amount of cortisone in an or or orabase to accelerate healing)

We use Alum with great

We use Alum with great success. It is a pickling spice.

Canker sore remedy

I've had them my entire life, I use to get 4 or 5 at a time. Now I only get them when I bite my cheek or lip unfortunately it happens frequently. I use kanka to numb it, it burns like the dickens but when you get them severely an hour of comfort is worth it. Then I was introduced to L-Lysine, you can by this anywhere herbs or vitamins are sold, I get mine at Walmart. Take it regularly and your canker sores will become a rarity in your life. I don't get them like I used to so I don't take it regularly, but when one starts to come up I'll take L-Lysine for a few days and it will kill it and the spot will start going away. Or you can go to the Dr and get silver nitrate sticks but that is the worst pain ever but they will make it dead instantly.

Put Vaseline on it to keep it

Put Vaseline on it to keep it from chafing against teeth while it heals.

Canker sore cure

Use a very tiny dot of ALUM directly on the canker sore. And I do mean a tiny bit. Use a wet Q-tip and just barely dot some on it. Hold the lip or cheek out away from teeth and gums for a few minutes and let the drool spill into the sink or a cup or something because there will probably be some saliva produced. It cauterizes it. This will heal a canker sore in one day.

Canker sores

Canker sores a.k.a. Mouth Ulcers were always treated with Borax powder, mum would lick her finger and dip it into Borax, then dab the powder onto it. Worked too!

Canker sore

I've been bothered with canker sores for years I've used Hydrogen Peroxide by dabbing some on with a Q'tip.

canker sore

when I was young my parents had a container of potash. We dabbed that on with a Q -tip. Hurt like heck but was gone in a few days. But you cant get that anymore. I rinse with salt water two - three times a day. Works

suggestions for canker sore

I've had canker sores most of my life and I can say that I can finally take the control over them. I started take one Lysine supplement and when I see a canker sore started to show up, I take two daily; one in the morning and one at suppertime. I also rinse and gargle with half peroxyde/half water two or three times a day depending on the sensitivity of the canker sore. It never goes into a full blown canker sore anymore like it used to in the past. Good luck

Tea tree oil works very well.

Tea tree oil works very well. I used to have frequent canker sores. These days i rinse my mouth every day with tea tree oil. First I spray tea tree oil in my mouth and then add some water and rinse just like listerene. The sensation is exactly like listerene but much healty since there is no fluoride! I havent had any sores in years and even my chronic rhinitis is cured!!

My mom recently had a canker sore, I asked her to apply tea tree oil. The sore was cured within 2 days! It had worked wonders for me!

Canker sores

I haven't had one in years but I rinse with salt water, stings but shortens them to a few days

My mom always gave us alum

My mom always gave us alum powder for our canker sores. It takes the pain away. It tasted gross but it was the best treatment she found.

I've always used Alum powder.

I've always used Alum powder. It's a pickling agent but it kind of numbs the area.

canker sores

My mom had us use a touch of Alum powder on these . U talk about pain! But, U only had to suffer a few seconds, and no more pain with them .( Alum powder for pickling) . We would put up with the one time pain . so we wouldn't have to go through the long term discomfort. When the pain from the powder stops. Rinse mouth with cold water. All it takes is a tiny bit right on top of affected area. It really worked.!

Alum powder works the best!!

Alum powder works the best!! Get a Q tip wet and apply to the sore- huge pain but it is brief! It then becomes numb and unaffected by foods or other stuff by next morning.

Canker Sores

After having canker sores for years I recently found that taking folic acid every day keeps them away - along with some boil issues I had also. I am a believer in folic acid.

Canker Sores

I am a frequent sufferer. (both cankers and boils) How much folic acid do you take?

I usually use Listerine mouth

I usually use Listerine mouth wash mixed with equal parts of salt water and peroxide. I swish it around. This helps with sore throats if you gargle. The healing process is quicker.

Canker Sore remedies

I get canker sores occasionally on the end of my tongue,which not only causes discomfort but also makes it difficult to eat , drink and speak.The remedy that always works for me is to dab a small amount of clear honey on the sores,twice a day for 2-3 days , by which time the sores will have disappeared


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