Canker sores are a common but embarrassing and potentially painful condition. Unlike cold sores, which are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1, canker sores aren’t linked to any specific virus or bacteria. In this article, we’ll explore ways that you can use essential oils to address canker sores. After that, there will be a list of additional natural remedies.
- 1 What are Canker Sores and What Causes Them?
- 1.1 Genes
- 1.2 Diet
- 1.3 Stress
- 1.4 Hot food
- 1.5 Braces and dentures
- 1.6 Brushing teeth too hard
- 1.7 Allergies
- 1.8 Compromised immune system
- 1.9 Gender
- 1.10 Sodium lauryl sulfate
- 1.11 Too much acidic food or drink
- 1.12 Hormonal changes
- 1.13 Ulcerative colitis
- 1.14 Accidentally biting your cheek
- 1.15 Helicobacter pylori
- 1.16 Food sensitivity
- 1.17 Celiac disease
- 2 Using Essential Oils for Canker Sores
- 2.1 Tea tree oil
- 2.2 Wild oregano oil
- 2.3 Peppermint oil
- 2.4 Clove oil
- 2.5 Lavender oil
- 2.6 Helichrysum essential oil
- 2.7 Melissa essential oil
- 2.8 Thieves oil
- 2.9 Melrose essential oil
- 2.10 Niaouli essential oil
- 2.11 Eucalyptus essential oil
- 2.12 Recipe for essential oil numbing spray
- 2.13 Recipe for anti-bacterial mouthwash
- 2.14 Recipe for coconut clove canker cream
- 3 Other Natural Canker Sore Remedies
- 3.1 Coconut oil
- 3.2 Chamomile tea
- 3.3 Manuka honey
- 3.4 Sage
- 3.5 Cayenne paste
- 3.6 Salt and warm water
- 3.7 Beeswax barrier
- 3.8 Yogurt
- 3.9 Probiotics
- 3.10 Aloe rinse
- 3.11 Milk of Magnesia
- 3.12 Vitamin B12 complex
- 3.13 Echinacea
- 3.14 Hydrogen peroxide
- 3.15 Baking soda
- 3.16 Alum powder
- 3.17 Licorice tea
- 3.18 Vitamin E
- 3.19 Turmeric and honey
- 3.20 Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)
- 3.21 Iron
- 3.22 Black tea
- 3.23 Zinc
What are Canker Sores and What Causes Them?
Canker sores can develop on the inner cheeks, tongue, gum, and tonsils. They are usually small ulcers that are shallow and red in appearance.
There are two main kinds of canker sores: minor and major. Minor canker sores are the most common. While they can be painful, they usually only last about one or two weeks. They are generally small, have a red edge, and are oval in shape.
Major canker sores are less common and are larger and deeper. It sometimes takes as long as six weeks for a major canker sore to heal, and scarring can result.
These canker sores can cause severe pain. Another, much rarer type of canker sore is the herpetiform canker sore. This type of sore is generally found in the elderly. They are very tiny but often appear in large clusters.
It’s believed that there are numerous different possible causes of canker sores. Some of these include:
It has been found that the propensity for developing canker sores can run in families. Do you have any relatives that have canker sores? Maybe your shared genetics is the reason that you have this problem.
Make sure that you’re getting enough iron and vitamin B12 in your diet. Deficiencies in these nutrients can make you more likely to have canker sores.
It’s possible that high stress levels can put you at greater risk of developing canker sores.
Excessively hot food that damage your mouth’s soft tissues. This can lead to canker sores.
Braces and dentures
Dentures or braces can cause abrasion that leads to a canker sore. You’ll find that sores will become less frequent as your mouth becomes accustomed to your new equipment.
Brushing teeth too hard
You might find yourself developing canker sores and bleeding gums if you brush your teeth too hard.
Is it possible that you’ve eaten something to which you’re allergic? If so, that might be the reason for your canker sores.
Compromised immune system
Having a weakened immune system can make you more likely to develop canker sores.
Women are at significantly greater risk of developing canker sores than men. This is because of hormonal differences.
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Try to avoid using toothpaste or mouthwash that contains SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). They can make canker sores more likely to occur.
Too much acidic food or drink
Ingesting an excessive amount of acidic food or drink can lead to canker sores.
Certain hormonal changes can make you more likely to develop canker sores.
Having an inflammatory bowel condition such as Crohn’s disease might make you more susceptible to developing canker sores.
Accidentally biting your cheek
An accidental bite of the cheek can lead to a painful canker sore.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that’s been linked to the development of peptic ulcers. It’s believed that it could also make you more likely to develop canker sores.
It’s possible for a food sensitivity to lead to canker sores. One such sensitivity could be to gluten.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. People with this condition experience damage to the small intestine as a result of gluten intake. Celiac disease is more common than you probably think. In fact, it is believed to affect as many as one in 100 people all over the world.
If you have symptoms such as a skin rash, fever, headache, and/or diarrhea along with your canker sore, it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. You must also see a physician if you have an extremely large canker sore that doesn’t diminish in two weeks.
Using Essential Oils for Canker Sores
The antioxidants and natural chemical components of several essential oils can be helpful in addressing canker sores. Some of the effects that they may have can include helping to reduce redness and inflammation, numbing soreness and pain, fighting bacteria, alleviating stress, and boosting the immune system.
When using essential oils, only apply a tiny amount to the canker sore, and be careful not to accidentally swallow any. You can use them two or three times a day, as needed. Examples of potentially useful essential oils for canker sores include the following:
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has been used by the aboriginal people of Australia for thousands of years to address a variety of problems. Its antibacterial properties, as well as its ability to potentially numb soreness and pain, make it useful in addressing canker sores.
Gently dab very tiny amounts of tea tree oil on your canker sore, using a cotton swab. It’s essential that you don’t swallow any of the oil, as it could be harmful.
Wild oregano oil
Wild oregano oil (also referred to as oil of oregano) has renowned anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Apply a single drop of it to your canker sore, and allow it to stay on for about 10 minutes.
You’ll probably experience an unpleasant burning sensation when you do this, but it should go away in a couple of minutes. As long as you choose an oregano oil that can be taken orally, you won’t have to worry about swallowing a little of it.
If you’d like to take doses of oregano oil orally, read the information on the bottle label regarding dosages. Oil of oregano is believed to be beneficial to many aspects of health.
Peppermint essential oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties means that it can be useful in treating a canker sore. This oil also has a pleasant cooling effect that people generally find soothing. It can be useful in numbing the pain.
Clove oil can have a numbing effect on your canker sores, making it useful in dealing with soreness and pain. You may find that there is a burning sensation at first, but this will go away quickly. Clove oil will help to promote quick healing of your canker sore.
Apply a small amount of lavender essential oil to your canker sores. This oil can help with soreness and pain, and it offers antibacterial benefits.
Helichrysum essential oil
Apply a few drops of helichrysum oil to your canker sore. It will assist with soreness and discomfort.
Melissa essential oil
Melissa oil is often referred to by its other name, lemon balm oil. This oil offers antibacterial benefits, and it can promote healing of your canker sores. Apply small amounts of this oil to your canker sore each day.
Thieves oil is a mixture of several essential oils: lemon, eucalyptus radiata, cinnamon bark, clove, and rosemary cineol. It will help to promote healing of your canker sore and should alleviate soreness and pain.
Melrose essential oil
Melrose oil is a mixture of several different oils: clove, rosemary, niaouli, and tea tree. This concoction has excellent antibacterial properties. Make sure to dilute the oil with coconut oil or another carrier oil before using it.
Niaouli essential oil
Dab a little bit of niaouli essential oil on your canker sore. You’ll find that it helps to soothe pain. It will also fight bacteria, helping to prevent infection.
Eucalyptus essential oil
Apply a small amount of eucalyptus essential oil to your canker sore. It will aid in fighting bacteria and preventing infection, as well as relieve pain.
Recipe for essential oil numbing spray
Make a spray that will help to numb the soreness of your canker sores by combining eight drops of eucalyptus oil, eight drops of peppermint oil and two tablespoons of olive oil or grapeseed oil in a glass spraying bottle. Spray your canker sore whenever needed. Store the mixture in a cool place.
Recipe for anti-bacterial mouthwash
Mix five drops of lavender essential oil, five drops of tea tree oil, three teaspoons of sea salt, and one cup of warm distilled water.
Put this solution in an amber bottle, using a funnel. Use it as a mouthwash, swishing it around your mouth for one minute before spitting it out. You should do this three times each day until your canker sore has disappeared.
Recipe for coconut clove canker cream
Mix five drops of clove oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil. Put this in an empty lip balm container. You can use a clean finger or cotton swab to apply it to your canker sore a few times each day until your symptoms have disappeared.
Other Natural Canker Sore Remedies
You might find coconut oil to be helpful in dealing with your canker sore. This is because it is not only inflammatory, but also has antibacterial properties.
It is best to use organic virgin coconut oil. Swish one teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes for the most benefits. You can also apply coconut oil directly to your canker sore. Coconut oil is widely believed to have many health benefits.
Levomenol, a component of chamomile tea, provides anti-inflammatory and even antibacterial benefits. It can help to promote the healing of your canker sore.
To use chamomile for your canker sore, allow a chamomile tea bag to soak in hot water for three minutes. After that, let the tea bag cool and apply it to your canker sore for about 10 minutes. You should do this two times each day until your canker sore disappears.
Manuka honey has antibacterial and soothing benefits that can assist with your canker sore. It also promotes healing. After you have washed out your mouth with water, put honey on your canker sore. You should do this two or three times each day.
It’s advisable to make putting honey on your canker sore part of your nighttime routine, as it will stay on longer while you’re sleeping. If you can’t find manuka honey, you can use another type of raw organic honey instead.
Sage can help to soothe your canker sore and promote healing. To use sage, you will need two teaspoons of dried sage or a handful of fresh sage, as well as four to eight ounces of fresh water. If you use fresh sage, put the sage leaves and water in an airtight glass jar.
Put this in a cool dark spot for at least 24 hours. Once you’ve done this, remove the sage leaves and use the liquid as a swish in your mouth for about one minute.
Make a pulp out of the moist leaves by pounding them, and place it on the sore for five minutes. Use cold water to rinse. If you use dried sage instead, first boil some water.
Put the dried sage in, and then let it infuse for about ten minutes. Once it is cooled, use this liquid as a rinse for one minute. Rinse your mouth with cold water afterwards.
While it may seem strange because of its spicy taste, cayenne pepper can be helpful for your canker sore. This is because it contains capsaicin, a substance that can help us deal with pain.
To make a cayenne cream, you’ll need cayenne pepper, warm water, and cotton swabs. Create the paste by mixing ground cayenne pepper with a small amount of warm water.
Apply this to your canker sores. You can do this two or three times each day until your canker sore disappears. It’s best to avoid most other spicy foods, however, as they might cause irritation.
Salt and warm water
Swishing with warm salt water will help to draw water from the canker sore, bringing down puffiness. Salt water also has anti-bacterial benefits.
To make a warm salt water, mix half a teaspoon of salt with a quarter cup of warm water. You should use this as a mouthwash three times a day.
Are your braces or dentures irritating your canker sore? Using a beeswax barrier on your orthodontic or dental equipment can be useful in protecting your canker sore from friction that can cause further irritation and swelling.
Make sure only to use a very tiny amount of this barrier, as using too much could lead to it getting stuck in your braces. To make the beeswax barrier, you’ll need two teaspoons of coconut oil and one tablespoon of beeswax.
First, melt down the coconut oil and beeswax, and let the mixture cool a little bit. After that, put a little bit on the area of your braces or dentures that are causing friction. You can also use this beeswax barrier on a tooth that is causing friction on your canker sore.
Consider eating more yogurt if you have canker sores. Yogurt contains healthy bacteria (probiotics) that may be helpful. Make sure to choose a plain yogurt containing live cultures.
If you’d like, you can try taking probiotic supplements. They might be helpful with your canker sores.
Aloe vera can help to soothe your canker sore and promote healing. It also provides a soothing feeling. To make an aloe vera rinse, mix one teaspoon of aloe vera gel with one tablespoon of water. Swish this gently in your mouth three times daily. Do you have an aloe vera plant? Use this for freshest gel.
Milk of Magnesia
It is the magnesium hydroxide in Milk of Magnesia that makes it effective against canker sores. It can neutralize acid and soothe irritation.
Put a little bit of Milk of Magnesia on your canker sore and allow it to sit for several moments. Rinse with water afterwards. You can do this three times a day. Milk of Magnesia can be found in any drugstore. Perhaps you already have a bottle in your medicine cabinet.
Vitamin B12 complex
Try taking a vitamin B12 supplement. It might make you less likely to develop canker sores. Think about speaking with your doctor for more information and advice.
Make an echinacea mouthwash by mixing one teaspoon of liquid echinacea with the same amount of warm water. Swish this in your mouth for two minutes. You can do this three times a day. It should help to promote healing of your canker sore.
Mix a three percent hydrogen peroxide solution with an equal amount of water. Use a cotton swab or cotton ball to apply small amounts of the mixture to the affected area. You can do this three times a day. You can also swish the liquid in your mouth as a mouth rinse. Be careful not to swallow any of the solution.
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with half a cup of water. Use this as a mouthwash for between fifteen and thirty seconds. You can do this once every few hours. It should help with inflammation.
Make an alum powder mix by slowly mixing water into a small amount of the powder. Put a little bit of the paste on the affected area, and allow it to sit for a minimum of one minute. Rinse your mouth with water afterwards. You can do this every day.
Steep a licorice tea bag in one cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drink the tea. This should help to soothe your canker sore and encourage healing.
Squeeze some of the liquid from a vitamin E capsule on your canker sore. This will help to promote healing and might assist in preventing infection.
Turmeric and honey
Turmeric has antibacterial properties. It will also help to cool your canker sore, soothing the pain and reducing inflammation. As we discussed earlier, honey can promote healing.
Mix turmeric and honey to enjoy the benefits of both these substances for your canker sore. Combine a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric powder with one teaspoon of honey (preferably raw manuka honey) to make a paste.
Gently apply the canker sore and leave it on for about five minutes. Use water to rinse. You should do this twice each day until your symptoms have disappeared.
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)
It can be useful to gargle with a solution of warm water and DGL liquid extract four times a day. This could be helpful in addressing the pain of your canker sores. Use one quarter cup of water and half a teaspoon of licorice. Make sure to swish it around your mouth.
If you have an iron deficiency, it might be contributing to your propensity to develop canker sores. You’ll need to be tested by a physician to find out whether you have an iron deficiency and need a supplement.
Steep a black tea bag (organic, if possible). Remove the bag, and allow it to cool a bit. Press the wet tea bag on your canker sore. This should help to reduce inflammation and pain. It is the tannin in tea that makes this possible.
Occasionally enjoying zinc lozenges might help with your canker sores, if a deficiency in that nutrient is contributing to the problem. You must be tested by your doctor to find out if you have such a deficiency before beginning a long-term program of zinc supplementation.
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