Canker sores are small lesions on the insides of your mouth, lips and sometimes even your tongue. They’re also known as ulcers and look like small white spots. But what they lack in size, they make up for in pain. Canker sores can make it extremely difficult for you to eat and talk. However, most canker sores aren’t serious and go away within a week or two. These seven tips will speed up the healing process and save you from a lot of discomfort.
1. Saltwater Gargle
A saltwater gargle is the easiest and cheapest way to heal a painful canker sore. Salt kills bacteria and prevents the lesion from getting infected any further. Salt can sting a little, so this method isn’t entirely painless. However, if you can power through a few minutes of pain, you’ll have to suffer a lot less in the future. To do a saltwater gargle, mix a tablespoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gargle for at least a minute and then spit out. Don’t use sea salt for this, because the rough edges can scratch your ulcer.
2. Onion Paste
Onions are high in sulfur, which is extremely effective at treating skin lesions. Sulfur sanitizes the area and helps skin mend faster. To make an onion paste, you can grind a few pieces of onion in a blender or do it manually using a mortar and pestle. Rub this paste on your sores and make sure it gets completely absorbed. Onions can help fight sores from the inside as well. On days when you’re suffering from a canker sore, include more onions in your meals.
3. Black Tea
Once you’re done brewing yourself a cup of tea, don’t throw out the tea bag. Tea contains a compound known as tannic acid, which encourages cells to regenerate itself. You can also use tea bags as a pain-relieving method. Place the teabag in the freezer for around 15 minutes and then place it on your sore. The cold teabag will numb the area around your sore, easing the pain immediately. While you can use green tea too, black tea is a lot more effective as it has a higher concentration of tannins.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Widely recognized for its ability to heal acne, tea tree oil can be just as effective at healing canker sores. It kills harmful bacteria before it can infect the sore and interfere with the healing process. Don’t ever apply pure tea tree oil directly on your sore as it will burn beyond belief. Instead, add a few drop of tea tree oil to a glass of water and swish this mixture in your mouth for a bit.
Honey is one of the most popular ingredients to treat canker sores and has been for centuries. Honey has natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory compounds. It also contains vitamins which your skin needs to heal itself. Honey can be very soothing, so rubbing some of it over a sore can reduce the pain. Always use raw, organic honey because most commercial variants are stripped of their nutrients.
6. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, which treat the root cause of canker sores. To make it work best, place a leaf of aloe in the fridge and use the fresh, cold gel on your sore. You can also drink aloe juice to calm down inflammation in your body. This helps sores heal faster and prevents new ones from forming.
7. Coriander Tea
This herb is one of the most potent natural cures for canker sores. Coriander can reduce pain considerably and act as an anti-fungal treatment. There are plenty of ways to use it. You can make a coriander rinse by boiling a few fresh leaves with water and gargling with this solution. You can also juice coriander leaves and drink it slowly throughout the day. Coriander seeds are just as effective as the leaves and can be used to make a rinse.