Canker Sores: Causes, Symptoms, And Remedies

Canker Sores: Causes, Symptoms, And Remedies
Canker Sores: Causes, Symptoms, And Remedies

If you often suffer from canker sores, you probably know how painful they are. In fact, repeated canker sores may negatively impact your quality of life. They make swallowing, talking, and eating difficult. It can also be surprised how much a small mouth sore may hurt.

You can get canker sores inside your lip, on your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth. Treatments may include ointments, over-the-counter (OTC) prescription gels, and rinses. There are also devices similar to what Luminance RED offers to reduce pain and improve the healing time of canker sores.

But before you use any treatment for canker sores, it’s crucial to know more about it. Carry on reading below to learn about the remedies, symptoms, and causes of canker sores.

Causes Of Canker Sores

In some instances, the cause of canker sores can’t be determined. But the most common causes of these mouth sores may include the following:

  • Hormonal Changes – Most women may suffer from canker sores during or before menstruation.
  • Stress – Your emotional state may affect your health. If your stress level is high, it may weaken your immune system and may result in digestive imbalance. Once it happens, it can lead to acid reflux, which is associated with canker sores.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies – If your daily diet lacks particular vitamins and minerals, they may appear in your mouth. This is particularly true if you lack iron, vitamin B-12, and folic acid.
  • Food Allergies And Sensitivities – If you have allergies or food sensitivities, it may upset your immune response in the mouth. The common culprits are cheese, nuts, coffee, eggs, strawberries, and chocolate.
  • Minor Injuries – Your lips and gums can be easily cut or bruised. If you’re brushing your teeth, you should be careful. It’s because brushing your teeth aggressively may result in canker scores.

Canker sores may happen due to particular diseases and health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and celiac disease, a serious intestinal disorder due to gluten sensitivity. Yet a canker sore isn’t associated with herpes virus infections compared to cold scores.

Symptoms Of Canker Sores

Canker sores are mostly minor. These yellowish or white spots are referred to as aphthous ulcers as well. While the location of canker sores may vary, you’ll likely find them in the mouth’s soft tissue, inside the lips or cheeks, at your gums, and under the tongue.

You may feel a burning or tingling sensation if you have canker sores. Mild pain is typical with minor canker sores, whereas major sores can be excruciating.

Best Remedies For Canker Sores

Typically, canker sores will heal without using any treatment. But there are ways to prevent infection, relieve pain, and speed up healing. The following are some of the remedies you can consider to improve your quality of life:


  • Medicated Mouthwash


A regular mouthwash that has chlorhexidine may help prevent canker sores from worsening and germs from spreading. It may help avoid inflammation as well. But don’t use mouthwash with alcohol, as it may only irritate your canker sore.

For best results, choose medicated mouthwash for canker sores or mouth sores. This mouthwash contains lidocaine, which may help alleviate canker sore pain. Sometimes, doctors may prescribe you a prescription mouthwash that has lidocaine or dexamethasone.


  • Salt Rinse


Try a salt rinse for better healing if you prefer a natural alternative to get rid of canker sores. You can do it by rinsing your mouth with a salt solution. Nevertheless, it must never replace medicated mouthwash, especially if the symptoms persist.


  • OTC Canker Sore Treatment


Other than mouthwash, there are some treatments you can use for canker sores. Such include anesthetics in cream or gel form that contain lidocaine to help with inflammation and pain. A corticosteroid may be purchased too, which may help with healing and pain.

Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that have diclofenac are also another beneficial anti-inflammatory to ease the pain. However, if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant, be cautious about using any OTC treatment for canker sores. If possible, consult your doctor for the safe and right treatment options for you.


  • Chamomile Tea With Honey


Centuries ago, people used honey and chamomile for various health reasons, including easing pain from canker sores. Chamomile is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it as a canker sore remedy by brewing chamomile tea with honey.

Honey has antiseptic properties, which may help treat canker sores. But since there’s still limited evidence of their advantages in treating canker sores, you must never rely on them as an alternative for the proper medication.


  • Zinc Supplements


Mineral or vitamin deficiencies, including zinc, folic acid, iron, and vitamin B12, may cause canker sores. Taking zinc supplements won’t only lessen the frequency of canker sore production but can also improve your immune system and fight against germs effectively. For best results, follow the directions provided when taking supplements.


  • Avoid Particular Foods


Some foods may irritate and cause canker sores. Therefore, it’s wise to stay away from them while trying to heal up. Foods that are acidic, hot, and spicy may agitate your canker sores and make them more inflamed. To ease inflammation and pain, opt for softer and bland foods, such as kale, salmon, yogurt, and spinach, to calm the breakout.


  • Apple Cider Vinegar


When it comes to remedies, apple cider vinegar is a staple and helpful for those who suffer from canker sores. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties, which may help eliminate your canker sores.

You can apply it directly to your canker sore or rinse your mouth with water containing apple cider vinegar. Nonetheless, it’s essential to note that vinegar may damage your tooth enamel, so avoid overusing it.


  • Ice


If you experience a burning sensation or throbbing pain due to canker sores, applying ice on them may help. Wrap a small piece of ice in a towel and dab it on your sore. Other than pain relief, ice may also reduce inflammation. This remedy is often beneficial for those with canker sores on the lips.


  • Cultured Probiotic Yogurt


A probiotic yogurt contains good bacteria, which replenish your oral flora and help get rid of canker sores. Additionally, the good bacteria in a cultured probiotic yogurt can improve your intestinal and stomach health.

Yogurt served cool may help soothe the pain too. So, eating this yogurt regularly may help prevent the occurrence of canker sores.


  • Aloe Vera


It has various uses in the field of dentistry, and one of these includes reducing the pain due to canker sores. To make the most of aloe vera’s benefits, get the plant’s gel and apply it directly to your canker sore. In fact, you can drink aloe vera juice as an alternative.


  • Baking Soda


Other than salt, you can also rinse with baking soda, which is an alkaline base. It may neutralize the acid in your mouth that may irritate your canker sores. Baking soda can kill the bacteria in your mouth too, allowing your canker sores to heal quickly.

To use baking soda, mix a teaspoon of it in warm water and rinse your mouth using it. Once done, rinse your mouth with fresh water.

Those are some of the many remedies you can try for canker sores. If you’ve tried everything and still suffer from canker sores frequently, consult your doctor immediately.

When To Visit Your Doctor Regarding Your Canker Sore Problem

You should seek a doctor’s help if the following happens:

  • Canker sores often develop for an extended period;
  • Canker sores make you feel unwell;
  • Canker sores cause difficulty when swallowing;
  • Canker sores last longer than three weeks; and others.

If you have the following symptoms, you should also talk to your doctor:

  • Stomach pain;
  • Fever;
  • Rash on another part of your body;
  • Eye irritation; and so on.

If canker sores become painful and reddish, it can be a sign of infection. When it happens, ask your doctor for the right treatment, and don’t try to treat it on your own.

Tips To Avoid Canker Sores

You can avoid the recurrence of canker sores by being careful with what you eat, especially if they often trigger the outbreak. Such often include acidic, spicy, or salty foods. Further, avoid foods that may cause allergy symptoms, including hives, itchy mouth, and swollen tongue. You can ask your doctor to create a suitable diet plan for you to avoid canker sores in the future.

If canker sores appear due to stress, consider doing calming techniques and stress reduction methods, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises.

Lastly, you should practice good oral hygiene and improve your oral care resolutions as well. Brushing your teeth and flossing regularly may help keep your mouth clean. Invest in a soft toothbrush to avoid irritating your mouth’s soft tissue and gums.

Wrapping Up

A canker sore can be irritating and painful, particularly if it occurs frequently. Fortunately, there are some ways to prevent it and various remedies you can use to ease discomfort and pain. Keeping track of the possible triggers and when they happen can help you determine if there’s an underlying cause you can avoid.

I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.