I had one heck of a canker sore inside my cheek last week. Of course, it happened JUST before I was going to be speaking at a conference. It also made me feel like I was moving my mouth strangely every time I talked. This post contains tips for dealing with canker sores and some useful recipe and product suggestions. Some of the links within are affiliate links.
What causes canker sores?
The most common causes are a virus, stress, hormones. food allergies, immune system issues, vitamin or mineral imbalances, and injuries to the mouth. Some studies have also found a link between a sensitivity to products like toothpaste which contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and the occurrence of canker sores.
I’ve begun using doTERRA OnGuard toothpaste and have found an improvement in my oral health since. It doesn’t have any SLS in it. Some of the ingredients it does contain are ones which have been identified as helpful in treating canker sores and other oral health problems. I have found that since I began using it, I haven’t had any canker sores, my gums aren’t as sore, and they don’t bleed anymore.*
Recurring canker sores can be an indication of a systemic issue – things like Crohn’s disease (hence why I have oral health issues), Lupus, and Celiac disease so be sure to see a doctor if you keep having an issue with them.
And of course, I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet so if you have a really bad sore or if it lasts a long time, you should definitely see a doctor about it then too. These remedies below use natural ingredients you probably have around the house. If they don’t work, I would consult a physician before using anything stronger.
How to treat a canker sore?
So, obviously, the first step is in treating canker sores is to avoid getting them by taking good care of yourself. When you do get one, here are some easy remedies you can try.
- Since it can come from an imbalance in your system, you might find the microbes in plain yogurt really helpful. Simply swish some around in your mouth, in particular in the area where the sore is.
- Mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide. Gargle with this several times a day, especially at bedtime.
- Black teabags have had good results for some people. Use your wet teabag from your cup of tea and place it in your fridge for a few minutes to chill. Put it on the sore for 15-20 minutes, two to three times a day.
- Covering an open canker sore with baking powder can help it close up faster.
- Certain essential oils can also be helpful when it comes to easing the pain and healing canker sores faster.* Clove and Peppermint oils can help to alleviate the pain. Frankincense and Melaleuca may help to heal them faster. Use a drop with some sort of carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. When I’m buying essential oils, I buy them from doTERRA. You can purchase them through my doTERRA site here.
When it comes to over the counter products, I have to save that Canker Covers have been a lifesaver. I just discovered these recently and they were the only thing that allowed me to get any sleep. You place the tablet over the sore and as it melts, it forms a cover over it that forms a barrier and seriously reduces the pain to almost nothing.
While you have a canker sore, it’s important to stay away from citrus or spicy foods as well as coffee or crunchy foods that may irritate it and make it worse.
If you don’t start feeling relief within a couple of days, you should have a doctor take a look at the sore. It’s uncommon to need anything more than simple home remedies but best to be safe.
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and these ideas are not to be taken as medical advice. These tips are simply what works for us or what has been suggested by friends and family. Products and information, particularly regarding essential oils are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counselling with a health care professional. Individuals with serious illnesses or complications should consult a qualified health care professional.