Home remedies for canker sores can bring fast, soothing relief to people who suffer from them. Not to be confused with cold sores, also known as Herpes Simplex 1, canker sores are quite painful, but are not contagious. Since they can reoccur, learning about what causes canker sores, as well as home remedies and natural cures to treat them is very helpful in their overall treatment.
Canker Sores Definition
Canker sores are small ulcers that appear inside of the mouth. Simple canker sores are common in people between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. They can occur 3 or 4 times in a year, but typically only last up to a week each time. Complex canker sores are sometimes found in people with other illnesses. They are less common, but mostly occur in people who have had canker sores before.
Canker Sores Causes
A number of conditions that cause irritation or injury to the mouth can contribute to the development of canker sores. A few of the most common causes include:
- Injury from braces
- Injury from a sharp tooth
- Injury from a sharp dental instrument
- Poor fitting dentures
- Food allergies
- Hormonal changes (particularly in women)
In cases of complex canker sores, causes include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease (also known as gluten intolerance)
- Weakened immune system
- Nutritional deficiency (especially if deficient in iron, zinc, folic acid or vitamin B12)
Canker Sores Symptoms
Canker sores appear on the inside of the mouth on the tongue, inner cheeks, inner lip or gums. Sometimes, before an ulcer erupts, a person may feel a tingling sensation in the area where a canker sore ultimately appears. Once a canker sore is present, it will appear as a round, gray or white ulcer that is sometimes outlined in red.
In the case of complex canker sores or a severe case of simple canker sores, a person may experience a fever, severe fatigue and swollen lymph nodes.
Home Remedies for Canker Sores
Home remedies for canker sores help in that they can be addressed right away without waiting for a doctor’s appointment. Once present, one or more of the following home remedies for canker sores are recommended:
- Place a wet black teabag or tea leaves directly on the sore(s) and allow the tannin naturally present in tea to act as a pain reliever
- Make a mouthwash with Aloe Vera extract and water and rinse several times each day that a sore is present
- Apply an onion slice directly to the sore (This may cause burning, but will help the sore heal faster.)
- Cover the canker sore in honey for fast relief and to aid in healing
Food and herbal remedies for canker sores are also very useful. A few herbs that can be applied directly to the sore or consumed as a tea are:
- Coriander leaves
- Cinnamon powder
- Carob juice
- Tea tree oil
- Chamomile tea
While it is useful to know how to use home remedies for canker sores to naturally cure them without medications, if a sore last longer than a few weeks and if other symptoms, such as fever or fatigue are present, a person should seek medical attention right away, as this could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.