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Bellevue Azalea Dentistry discusses about the home remedies to be used on Canker sores.

Home Remedies For Canker Sores

Canker sores are like tiny mouth sores that can be annoying. They show up inside your mouth and make eating, drinking, and talking painful.

We’re not always sure why they come, but stress, certain foods, or smallmouth injuries might be the cause. It’s important to know that they’re not contagious, and they’re not the same as cold sores caused by a virus.

If you don’t want to wait for them to heal on their own, there are some easy home remedies to try for relief. Keep in mind, though, that these remedies might not work for everyone, but it’s worth giving them a try.

What Are Canker Sores?

A canker sore, also known as an aphthous ulcer, is a common but painful type of mouth sore. These sores often appear inside your lips and cheeks as white or yellow spots surrounded by red, inflamed tissue.

Canker sore symptoms include:

  • A small, white or yellow oval-shaped sore in your mouth
  • Painful red areas in your mouth
  • A tingling feeling in your mouth
  • Feeling nauseous

Sometimes, you might also have other symptoms like fever, swollen lymph nodes, or just feeling unwell.

The good thing about canker sores is that they are not contagious, and they usually get better on their own within 1-3 weeks, even without treatment. Typically, the pain from these sores goes away in 7-10 days, but in more severe cases, it might take up to 6 weeks to fully heal.

Here Are Some Helpful Home Remedies for Canker Sores

Here are some common and easy-to-use home remedies for canker sores that can relieve pain and make you feel more comfortable. Let’s explore how to apply these remedies at home:

Saltwater Rinse:

  • Mix half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water
  • Gargle with this solution for about 30 seconds
  • Spit it out and don’t swallow
  • You can do this 2-3 times a day to help reduce pain and inflammation

Baking Soda Rinse:

  • Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste
  • Apply this paste directly to the canker sore
  • Leave it on for a minute or so, then rinse your mouth with water
  • Repeat this a few times a day to ease discomfort and speed up healing


  • Apply a small amount of honey directly onto the canker sore
  • Let it sit for a while
  • Do this a few times a day; honey has natural healing properties

Milk of Magnesia:

  • Dab a little milk of magnesia on the sore using a cotton swab
  • Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse your mouth
  • You can do this a few times daily for relief

Ice Pack Rinse:

  • Rinse your mouth with cold water or suck on ice chips
  • This can temporarily numb the area and reduce pain
  • Do it as needed

Chamomile Compress:

  • Brew a chamomile tea bag, let it cool, and then use it as a compress on the sore
  • Hold it against the sore for a few minutes
  • You can repeat this several times a day to soothe the sore

Coconut Oil:

  • Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the canker sore
  • Let it sit for a while
  • Do this a few times a day
  • Coconut oil can help reduce irritation

Alum Powder:

  • Dab a pinch of alum powder directly onto the canker sore
  • It may sting for a moment but can help speed up healing
  • Use this sparingly, a couple of times a day

Aloe Vera Gel:

  • Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel directly to the sore
  • Let it sit for a while
  • You can do this multiple times daily
  • It will alleviate discomfort and promote healing

Clove Oil:

  • Use a cotton swab to apply a drop of clove oil directly onto the canker sore
  • It might sting briefly but can provide relief
  • Use it carefully, a couple of times a day

Remember that everyone’s response to these remedies can vary, so you might want to experiment with a few to see which works best for you. If your canker sores persist or worsen, or you have them frequently, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional.

Other Treatments For Canker Sore

While canker sores usually get better by themselves, you can speed up healing and reduce discomfort by making some lifestyle changes. It’s essential to brush and floss your teeth daily to prevent infections and help healing. Avoid spicy foods as they can slow down recovery. When the pain gets too much, try gargling with mouthwash or saltwater, even though it might be uncomfortable initially, it can bring relief.

Some ingredients in over-the-counter products can help such as:

  • Benzocaine (found in Orabase, Zilactin-B, Kank-A)
  • Hydrogen peroxide rinses (like Peroxyl and Orajel)
  • Fluocinonide (known as Vanos)

If your dentist or doctor prescribes it, a strong mouthwash such as Listerine can provide relief. Antibiotics like doxycycline (Monodox, Adoxa, Vibramycin) and mouthwashes can reduce infection risk. Corticosteroid ointments like hydrocortisone hemisuccinate and beclomethasone soothe inflammation and pain. You can also explore prescription-strength rinses with dexamethasone or lidocaine for more relief.

Canker Sores Treatment In Bellevue

When you visit Bellevue Azalea Dentistry, you’ll receive valuable information on mouth sores and ensure your oral health is in good hands. Our trusted dentist in Bellevue not only offers guidance but also excels in the early detection of potential dental issues during routine check-ups.

Don’t postpone your oral health needs until a problem surfaces; instead, take proactive steps to stay ahead and maintain your oral well-being by scheduling an appointment with us today. Your healthy smile awaits.

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About the Author
Dr. Uparika Sharma is the founder dentist of Bellevue Azalea Dentistry. In addition to general dental procedures, she evaluates TMJ, cervical spine, airway problems, chronic headache, and CRPS.


Dr. Uparika Sharma is a trusted dentist. She has been practicing for over 5 years at Bellevue Azalea Dentistry clinic. She holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree from the University of Washington. Dr. Uparika Sharma is a member of the American Dental Association.