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Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are small, painful ulcers that appear inside your mouth. They usually develop on the tongue, the inside of the cheeks and inside the lips which can cause pain and irritation, making it difficult for you to eat and drink.
Certain factors can trigger mouth ulcers, such as bacterial, viral or fungal infections, toothpaste and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulphate, minor mouth injury and deficiency of B12, zinc, and iron vitamins.
Certain home remedies can help lower the pain and speed up the healing process of mouth ulcers. Read on to know the home remedies for mouth ulcers.
Suck on or apply ice chips on the mouth ulcers. The ice will numb the area and reduce pain and inflammation, thereby bringing some instant relief.
• Wrap few ice cubes in a towel and apply on the ulcers.
2. Alum powder
Alum powder is made from potassium aluminium sulphate, which is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of oral ulcers. Alum is known to have astringent and haemostatic properties that can help contract the tissues and increase the wound healing process by lowering inflammation .
• Mix small amounts of alum powder with few drops of water and make a paste.
• Apply the paste on the canker sore.
• Leave it for one minute and rinse your mouth properly.
3. Salt water rinse
The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of salt are well known. It can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by mouth ulcers and can help dry the sores.
• Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in ½ cup of water.
• Swish the solution in your mouth for 15 to 30 seconds and spit it out.
• Repeat every few hours depending on the pain.
Honey possesses antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It can help reduce the ulcer size, pain and redness, according to a 2014 study .
• Apply honey four times a day.
Tip: Use unfiltered, unpasteurised honey.
5. Baking soda
Baking soda is alkaline in nature and this will help neutralise acids that cause irritation and will also aid in killing bacteria inside the mouth. This will help the ulcer to heal faster.
• Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in ½ cup of warm water.
• Rinse your mouth with this solution.
6. Aloe vera
Aloe vera exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that may help in quick healing of the mouth ulcers. According to a study, aloe vera gel is effective in lowering the ulcer size, pain and inflammation .
• Slice an aloe vera leaf and scoop out the aloe gel with a spoon.
• Apply small amounts of aloe gel and dab it directly on the ulcer.
7. Coconut oil
The presence of lauric acid in coconut oil can help decrease pain and swelling and reduce the discomfort.
• Dab a cotton ball in some virgin coconut oil and apply it on the ulcers.
Garlic can help in the reduction of mouth ulcers due to the presence of allicin, a bioactive compound that has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties .
• Rub a clove of garlic on the ulcer very gently for one to two minutes.
• Rinse your mouth thoroughly.
Chamomile contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and mild astringent properties. It is used in traditional medicine to treat wounds, ulcers, bruises, burns, canker sores and other ailments .
• Soak a chamomile tea bag in a cup of water and apply the damp tea bag on the sore for few minutes.
• You can also rinse your mouth with chamomile tea.
10. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that can help treat canker sores. The vitamin is naturally found in foods such as poultry, eggs, fish, meat and dairy products. Incorporate these foods as a part of your daily diet to lower the ulcers .
Sage is a herb that contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic and astringent properties that can help treat canker sores.
• In a bowl of boiling water add one to two tbsp of fresh sage leaves.
• Allow it to steep for five minutes.
• Strain and let the drink cool.
• Swish the solution around your mouth and spit it out.
Note: Consult a doctor before the application of the above home remedies.