Canker sores are small and painful sores that may occur on your tongue, inside your cheeks or lips, or at the base of your gums. They are not the same as cold sores. Canker sores are not viral related, and are not contagious at all. An estimated 10% of the population has recurring problems with them. The likely cause is a reaction in the immune system. Canker sores will normally go away by themselves in 7-10 days.
How to Get Rid of Canker Sores
- Acidophilus taken in either capsule form or as an ingredient in plain yogurt may stimulate the immune system. Taking 2-4 capsules four times a day with milk has proven to both reduce the pain, and speed up the healing process.
- Baking soda is a time honored remedy that can be used in powder form, or made into a paste and applied directly to the sore. This is another one that might sting a bit at first, but repeated treatments are reported to clear up canker sores in a couple of days.
- Natural mouth rinses include rinsing your mouth with salt water a.k.a. saline. Aloe juice can be used as a mouth rinse several times a day. You can try drinking sage tea taking time to swish it around in your mouth with every sip. Or rinse with vinegar mixed with a spoonful of salt three times a day. Alum from the spice section of your grocery store will relieve pain and speed healing, but will burn like crazy Do this once or twice a day, but be prepared for the burning, and rinse your mouth out well afterwards.
- Antacid formulas such as Mylanta and Milk of Magnesia have been reported to relieve pain and speed healing.
- Using a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash can help clean out the canker sore and kill bacteria.
- Get rid of Toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate. These tend to dry the tissues of the mouth, breaking down the surface protection, and perhaps triggering the beginning of the sore
- Reduce Stress. Meditate, relax, exercise, whatever works for you.
- Stay Healthy. Research has shown that people who develop frequent canker sores also suffer from some sort of nutritional deficiency. Vitamin deficiencies: B1, B2, B6, B12, C and other nutrients: zinc, folic acid, iron, selenium, calcium have all been linked to the sores. Like stress, nutritional deficiency gets blamed for a lot of health problems, and you should already be avoiding it
- Allergic Reactions. Have you added anything new to your diet recently? Try systematically removing certain foods to see if this helps clear up the problem.
- Keep clean: Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash often.
- Stay away from salty and acidic foods.
Anything you can do that helps your immune system is going to help the canker sore problem and remember to avoid foods that may produce mouth trauma. The use of SLS free toothpaste is reported to be the single best preventive measure and anything that makes the mouth cleaner and eliminates bacteria is going to help.