If you suffer from canker sores, you know how painful they can be. Repeated canker sores can hinder your quality of life. They make talking, eating and swallowing difficult. It can be surprising just how much such a small sore can hurt!
Canker sores can be caused by a variety of issues. In this article, we detail the most common causes of canker sores. We follow with a short list of general advice for those who suffer from this problem. Finally, I’ll show you eleven natural home remedies for canker sores. These remedies are a way for you to use natural dentistry. They can really help ease your pain.
What is a canker sore?
Canker sores are also called aphthous ulcer. Similar to peptic ulcers that occur in the stomach, they are painful blisters of the mouth. Often presenting on the inside of lips, side of the tongue. You may also get them on inside of cheeks and on the gums. When you see them, they are usually white or yellow in the center, surrounded by a ring of red, inflamed soft tissue.
Patients who suffer from canker sores usually report stressful situations in their home or work life. Women tend to suffer from canker sores more than men do. They may also be hereditary. If a family member has canker sores, you are more likely to have them as well.
What causes canker sores?
Canker sores have many causes. These can include:
- Stress – our emotional state can really affect our health. When you have too much stress in your life, can weaken your immune system. Digestive imbalance can lead to acid reflux which can relate to canker sores.
- Minor injuries – Your gums and lips are easily bruised or cut. When you are brushing your teeth, you need to be careful. Aggressive teeth brushing can lead to canker sores. So too can a sports injury or a bite to the inside of your cheek while sleeping or eating.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – This chemical additive to toothpastes and mouthwash has been linked to canker sores. If you suffer from canker sores you should remove toothpastes containing SLS.
- Food sensitivities and allergies – If you have a sensitivity or allergy to food, this can upset the immune response in the mouth. The most common culprits are strawberries, eggs, chocolate, nuts, coffee, and cheese.
- Vitamin deficiencies – If you are lacking certain vitamins and minerals in your daily diet, it can show up in your mouth. This is especially the case for folic acid, iron and vitamin B-12.
- Hormonal changes – Many women suffer from an increase in canker sores before and during menstruation.
General home advice for canker sores
When you have a canker sore in your mouth, it can be really painful and irritating. Every time you eat or talk, you will feel pain. You can make your canker sore worse in a few ways. As a general guide:
- Do not poke at the canker sore with your tongue
- Limit spicy and acidic foods
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
- Eat nutritious foods
- Practice calming exercises and meditate to limit stress
- Take vitamins on a regular basis
- Take care when brushing your teeth and eating
11 natural home remedies for canker sores
If you are currently suffering from a painful canker sore, these eleven household remedies may provide relief.
1) Swish with Salt water
Salt water is a natural disinfectant. It can be a great natural remedy for canker sores. At the first sign of a canker sore, swish with salt water. This will relieve your pain and speed up the healing process.
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of sea salt or another natural salt in half a cup of warm water. Swish around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Spit, and then rinse your mouth with fresh water.
2) Add Fenugreek leaves
Fenugreek is a delicious ingredient in many curries. However, its leaves have many healing benefits. Research shows that fenugreek may have applications in natural dentistry.
Fenugreek can boost your immune system. It is filled with many vitamins and minerals. This includes riboflavin, zinc iron, vitamin C, calcium, carotene, phosphorous and more.
To get fenugreek into your diet, you can add the leaves to food. For a more direct application to canker sores, place 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds into one cup of cold water. Swish this mixture around your mouth.
3) Eat Basil
Basil is delicious in sauces, in salads, and on pizza. It is used all over the world in different recipes. But did you know it is also a valuable ingredient for natural dentistry?
Studies have shown that basil has anti-microbial properties. It may also prevent infections and help to calm canker sores.
To get more basil into your diet, add the fresh leaves to your meals. Chew on the leaves in between meals. You can also soak the leaves in hot water and use this as a mouth wash.
4) Use a Dash of Cayenne
When you have a canker sore, you probably want to avoid spicy foods. After all – spicy foods can really irritate canker sores and make them even more painful! But properties in certain spices like cayenne pepper may help soothe canker sores.
Cayenne pepper is full of a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin makes chili and cayenne spicy. It can also inhibit substance P, a chemical in the body that causes inflammation. Studies also show that it can inhibit bacteria growth. Capsaicin may be a great home remedy for canker sores.
To use cayenne for a canker sore remedy, add some cayenne and add water to make a paste. Use a cotton swab to apply this paste to your canker sore. Apply this 2 to 3 times a day. This will help with pain relief and healing.
5) Rinse with Baking Soda
Baking soda is an alkaline base. It can neutralize the acids in your mouth that can irritate your canker sore. Baking soda will also kill bacteria in your mouth. This will help your canker sore heal more quickly.
Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda in half a cup of warm water. Swish and rinse your mouth with this mixture. To finish, rinse with fresh water.
6) Eat Cultured Probiotic Yogurt
Probiotic yogurt is filled with good bacteria. Beneficial bacteria replenish your oral flora and may help treat canker sores. The friendly bacteria in probiotic yogurt will improve your stomach and intestinal health. This, in turn, improves the health of your mouth. The cool nature of yogurt can also help to calm and soothe the pain.
Eat cultured, probiotic yogurt on a daily basis to help with canker sores.
7) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is often touted for its health benefits. It’s a rich source of acetic acid. This acid may help to curb bad bacteria while maintaining healthy oral flora. Balancing the oral microbiome can help cure your canker sores.
In order to get more apple cider vinegar into your diet, include it in your salad dressings or in cooking. You can also make a homemade mouthwash. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and swish in your mouth.
Afterward, you can swallow this mix. The vinegar is good for the digestive system as well as your mouth. Make sure to dilute apple cider vinegar, as the low pH can cause acid erosion.
8) Take Zinc Supplements
If you suffer from canker sores on a regular basis, you might have a zinc deficiency. Taking zinc supplements can give you some relief. Taking zinc supplements has been shown to reduce canker sores by between 50 to 100 percent.
Taking a high-quality zinc lozenge twice per day can heal your canker sores. Zinc lozenges can also help prevent them in the first place. Speak to your doctor or dentist before starting a regime of zinc lozenges.
9) Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is good for more than just a pre-bedtime tea. It contains different daisy-like plants, and they can help relax you and aid healthy digestion. It has been shown to contain chemical compounds that have antiseptic abilities.
Chamomile may have soothing results for canker sores. It can also help speed up healing time. You can try chamomile by drinking warm tea or placing a chamomile tea back on the sore.
10) Use Sage
Sage is a delicious herb often added to gravies, soups, and sauces. It is a part of the mint family. Many natural dentistry remedies include sage. Sage has anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties that may help the oral flora. It may help to balance the immune system and help to heal canker sores.
Mix a handful or fresh sage or 2 teaspoons of dried sage with a cup of water. Swish and rinse your mouth for 60 seconds.
11) Try Clove Oil
Clove oil is a valuable natural remedy for canker sores. The active ingredient is eugenol, which acts as a painkiller. Dentists have long used clove oil to help their patients. Clove oil can be applied directly to canker sores for relief. You can also make a mouth rinse from clove oil.
First, swish your mouth with salt water. Then apply a half teaspoon of olive oil to a cotton ball. Top this off with 4 or 5 drops of clove oil. Apply the cotton ball directly to your canker sore for up to 10 minutes. This will give you pain relief and numb the area.
How did these natural dentistry remedies work for you? Please leave your comments below.
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