Tongue sores, also called an aphthous ulcer and canker sore, are not only painful but they also affect the quality of your life. Worse, you’ll have to wait for a week or two before they completely heal. If you want to know how to get rid of tongue sores naturally, here are eight home remedies you can use.
- 1 The Most Common Sore in Your Mouth is a Canker Sore
- 2 Another Possible Sore inside Your Mouth is a Mouth Ulcer
- 3 How To Get Rid Of Tongue Sores Naturally
- 4 Tips To Prevent Canker Sores and Mouth Ulcers
The Most Common Sore in Your Mouth is a Canker Sore
Canker sores can occur anywhere in your mouth. They can appear on the insides of your cheek, inner surface of your lips, on the gums, on the tip of your tongue or on the back of your tongue, on the roof of your mouth and in the back of your throat.
They are triggered by the numerous events such as tissue injury (biting on the insides of your cheeks), stress and viral infections.
Some people experience canker sores several times a year and the outbreaks last about a week. Others may experience more frequent outbreaks, especially people who have previously had them.
What Causes Canker Sores
The exact cause of canker sores are not known. Arguably, the most painful occurrence of canker sores are on the tongue. The tongues responsibility is to direct food, receive sensations of touch and taste. A canker sore appearing on the tongue would make all of these things very painful.
Possible causes of canker sores are:
- Spicy, salty or acidic foods
- Generic inheritance
- Changes in hormonal balance
- Vitamin deficiency. A lack of folic acid, iron and vitamin B-12.
- Viral infections
- Using toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate
- Injury on the tongue
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
Symptoms of Canker Sores
- Painful red bump that turns into an open ulcer
- The center of the ulcer is white or gray with a red border
- A burning or a tingling sensation before the sore appears
- Small size, around one centimeter.
- Swollen lymph nodes
The Difference Between Cold Sores and Canker Sores
A cold sore, also called a fever blister or a herpes simplex type 1 is caused by a virus and extremely contagious. The sores are fluid filled blisters and appear usually on the outside of the mouth instead of inside of the mouth like canker sores.
Another Possible Sore inside Your Mouth is a Mouth Ulcer
Mouth ulcers usually appear on the insides of the cheeks. They can be very painful when drinking, eating or brushing teeth. Most of the time, mouth ulcers are harmless, not contagious and clear up in 10 days to two weeks.
There are 3 types of mouth ulcers:
- Minor ulcers. These are usually 2-8 mm in size and clear up in 10 to 14 days.
- Major ulcers. These are deeper and bigger ulcers with irregular or raised edges.Usually it takes them several weeks to heal and they may leave a scar afterwards.
- Herpetiform ulcers. These are small sores that appear in cluster of dozen sores. They are usually the size of pinheads.
Causes of Mouth Ulcer
The exact cause is yet unknown with these types of sores as well. Possible causes:
- Stress or tissue injury
- Citrus or acidic foods
- Dentures or braces
- Vitamin deficiency in folic acid, vitamin B12, zinc and iron.
- Chron’s disease
- Celiac disease
Symptoms of Mouth Ulcers
- Painful sore/sores inside your mouth, soft palate, on the tongue, on the roof of your mouth, and inside your cheeks.
- Sores that appear gray or white with a red edge/border
- Physically tired
- Swollen lymph nodes
How To Get Rid Of Tongue Sores Naturally
Canker sores and mouth ulcers usually heal on their own but if you want to speed up the healing process then try these natural remedies listed below.
There are so many things to like about honey. It’s affordable, easy to use, and non-toxic (in case you swallow it).
Interestingly, researchers say regular application of pure honey can heal oral ulcers in just 3 days!  Medical grade honey has antifungal activity, facilitates wound healing, reduces inflammation, and fights antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  
Store-bought honey could spell trouble, so always buy medical grade honey to heal your tongue sores. Most medical experts recommend a certain type called Manuka honey, which comes from Australia and New Zealand.
Traditionally, people used goldenseal in mouthwash preparations to cure canker sores. It contains properties that eliminate inflammation and bacterial infection. Its ability to fight off bacteria in vitro is associated with its major active ingredient, berberine, and other compounds that increase the effect of berberine. 
How to use:
- Combine one-fourth teaspoon of sea salt and one-half teaspoon of powder from one goldenseal capsule.
Who shouldn’t use it?
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Individuals who have underlying health conditions involving the liver, heart, and blood pressure
Propolis is the resin-like material bees use to cover their hive. It’s widely used in traditional medicine for wounds, infections, and canker sores. Experts believe that the flavonoids—the plant pigments that make veggies and fruits good for us—are responsible for propolis’ antibacterial activity.
Interestingly, it also decreases the frequency of canker sore flare-ups. A study published in the Clinical Oral Investigations has shown that patients who were taking 500mg of propolis capsule daily experienced less canker sore outbreaks. 
Oral propolis is available in a wide variety of forms, including mouthwashes, extracts, tablets, and capsules. The proper dosage will vary per product, so your best bet is to follow the manufacturer’s directions.
German Chamomile Tea
German chamomile contains different flavonoids and terpenoids that are responsible for its medicinal effects. People use it as a mouth rinse to ease inflammation caused by canker sores and mouth ulcers.
Rinsing with German chamomile mouthwash twice a day for 4 weeks is a good treatment regimen to follow.  The great thing about it is it doesn’t stain the teeth.
Here’s how to use chamomile for your tongue sores:
- Pour boiled water over one tea bag of chamomile. Steep for 5 minutes then remove the tea bag. Set aside the tea, which you could also use as a mouthwash.
- Place the freshly used chamomile tea bag inside the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After, place it directly to your tongue sore(s) for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this at least two times daily.
In Ayurvedic medicine, traditional healers use turmeric as a treatment for inflammation and diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, and parasites. The medicinal effects of turmeric are due to its various active compounds like curcumin.
Study shows that curcumin is a promising antifungal agent that’s even more effective than fluconazole, an antifungal med.  Rinsing your mouth with a turmeric-based solution (10mg curcumin extract mixed with 100ml of water and peppermint flavoring) for one minute twice per day thirty minutes after brushing helps reduce bacteria and gingivitis-induced inflammation. 
Here’s how to use turmeric for tongue sores:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder with 1 teaspoon of raw honey and 1 tablespoon of water to make a paste.
- Apply the turmeric paste on the tongue sores using a clean cotton swab. Leave it on for 2 minutes then rinse well. Use this daily until your sores heal completely.
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 8 ounces of warm water.
- After brushing your teeth, wait for 15 to 30 minutes before swishing this turmeric mouthwash in your mouth for one full minute.
Salt and Water
This is one of the easiest and cheapest remedies you could use to get rid of tongue sores. Salt doesn’t really help with the pain, but it helps the sore(s) heal faster because it prevents the growth of and kills bacteria.
There’s really no standard recipe for making saltwater gargles. You can just apply a small amount of salt directly to the sore or make a mouth rinse. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of sea salt in a cup of warm water. Swish it inside your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds, and then spit it out. You can do this several times per day until your sores completely go away.
Ice Cubes or Chips
While waiting for your tongue sores to heal, use ice cubes or chips to numb the pain. This is actually safer than using over-the-counter numbing gels that are used for teething and canker sores.
Last 2011, the FDA issued a warning regarding the life-threatening effects of benzocaine products. The report said that benzocaine could lower the supply of oxygen in the blood—a condition called methemoglobinemia—that could eventually lead to death in severe cases.
Using zinc lozenges, as well as vitamin B and C tablets, seem to help some people make their tongue sores heal faster. There are no conclusive clinical studies to justify its use, although experts link recurrent canker sores to zinc deficiency.
To use, place one zinc lozenge (30 milligrams) directly on the sore. Let it dissolve naturally. That’s it.
Possible side effects of zinc lozenges are diarrhea and mouth irritation.
Cayenne contains an active substance called capsaicin which can reduce the pain responses in the body.
Make a cayenne paste. Add enough water to ground cayenne pepper to form a thick paste. Take a cotton swab and apply the paste directly on the sore. Reapply two to three times daily for pain relief.
Peppermint and Eucalyptus Essential Oil
These oils have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. They also work as astringent to tighten the tissues around the wound to help with swelling and fluid buildup. Peppermint and eucalyptus oils have also cooling properties which helps to numb the sore.
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- a glass mister bottle (preferably a dark glass bottle since essential oils will need to be away from the sunlight to preserve the shelf life)
Pour the olive oil or grapeseed oil into the mister bottle and add the essential oils. Spray the the solution directly on to the sore. Shake the bottle every time before use. If you use a clear glass bottle, place it in a dark area like inside the kitchen cabinet. Use the mixture until your sore is gone.
Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It also tastes good. Apply coconut oil directly on to your sore daily. It’s best to use solid coconut oil in order to apply it thickly onto the sore.
Clove oil has been used by dentists for ages. Clove oil contains eugenol which works great for numbing and relieving the pain due to the sore.
- 4-5 drops of clove essential oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
- Warm water or salt water
- Cotton balls
Rinse your mouth first to get the area clean. Swish it with warm water or salt water before applying the clove oil solution onto your sore.
Add the clove essential oil to olive oil and apply the mixture on the sore with a cotton ball and leave it for 5 minutes to get the numbing effect.
Tips To Prevent Canker Sores and Mouth Ulcers
- Avoid foods that irritate your mouth
- Avoid irritation from gum or cheek chewing
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush and floss you teeth regularly (some foods stuck in between teeth may trigger a sore)
Aside from these eight home remedies, it’s also a good idea to regularly de-stress, eat a well balanced diet (but stay away from spicy and acidic foods), and maintain a good oral hygiene. Talk to your doctor if your tongue sores won’t go away after three weeks, you develop unusually large sores, get a high fever and if you experience difficulty in drinking enough fluids.