Treat Canker Sores Naturally: Zinc mouthwash seems to be as effective on wound healing process to heal recurrent canker sores.

Treat Canker Sores Naturally

These are the best sites that discuss ways to treat Canker Sores naturally.

There have been no randomized, peer-reviewed, double blinded studies yet on this issue, so best to try natural remedies first. However, there are hypotheses as to why these annoying sores happen: see below.

As always, I recommend a “Low Inflammatory Diet”:

Sandra Cremers, MD, FACS


 2016 Jun;37(6):381-385;quiz386.

Hypofunction of the Sympathetic Nervous System as a Possible Etiologic Cause of Recurrent AphthousStomatitis.


Recurrent aphthous stomatitis is a common disorder of the oral mucosa. The symptoms can range from a minor nuisance to severe forms that can be extremely debilitating. Two cases of chronic aphthous stomatitis are described. The patients sought help to ameliorate vasomotor symptoms. A diagnosis of sympathetic nervous system hypofunction was established. Treatment was aimed at restoring normal sympathetic function by the administration of dextroamphetamine sulfate. Since the patients have been on the amphetamine salts, neither their vasomotor symptoms nor theiraphthous lesions have returned. Hypofunction of the sympathetic nervous system should be considered as a possible etiologic factor in patients with recurrent oral ulcers when not associated with known systemic diseases.

2. Zinc mouthwash seems to be as effective on wound healing process to heal recurrent canker sores.

 2016 Spring;10(2):87-91. doi: 10.15171/joddd.2016.014. Epub 2016 Jun 15.

A comparison of the effect of triamcinolone ointment and mouthwash with or without zinc on the healing process of aphthous stomatitis lesions.


Background. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is one of the most common ulcerative diseases of the oral mucosa. Definitive etiology of RAS has not been conclusively established. There is no certain treatment for aphthous stomatitis but some drugs such as steroids are commonly used for the treatment of RAS. Regarding the effect of zinc on the healing process of epithelial layer and cell division, in this research the effect of triamcinolone (with orabase) in combination with a zinc-containing mouthwash and triamcinolone alone on the healing process of RAS lesions was assessed. Methods. The present study consisted of 20 patients diagnosed with RAS. The patients were instructed to rinse the mouth-wash or placebo three times a day and triamcinolone ointment twice a day for two weeks. The largest dimension of the ulcer was measured by a digital caliper and the severity of pain was assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS). Number, size, duration, ulcer-free period and pain of the lesions were evaluated twice a week for twomonths. Data were analyzed by SPSS 16 using Mann-Whitney U test and t-test. Results . A decrease was seen in the mean pain severity score (P = 0.631) and the size of the lesions but it was not statistically significant (P = 0.739). Also the difference between the number of lesions (P = 0.739), duration and ulcer-free period (P = 0.873) were not statistically significant. Conclusion. Zinc mouthwash seems to be as effective on wound healing process as typical treatment modalities for RAS.

3. Not a very well respected journal below, but such a treatment is unlikely to cause any negative effects on non-pregnant women:

 2016 Apr;36(2):160-4.

Evaluation of anti-aphthous activity of decoction of Nicotiana tabacum leaves as a mouthwash: a placebo-controlled clinical study.



To determine the effects of decoction derived from the leaves of Nicotiana tabacum (L.) as a mouthwash on minor recurrentaphthous.


A randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted on 60 patients with minor recurrent aphthous. Treatment comprised of application of tobacco or placebo mouthwash (10 mL 3 times a day) for 5 days. Clinical evaluation included pain level using a visual analog scale and ulcer size on days 1, 3, and 5 were measured. Adverse effects after mouthwash application were recorded, and the oral mucosa was examined by the investigator at each visit.


A total of 54 subjects with the mean age (38 ± 10) years fulfilled the study. No minor and major adverse effects were observed. In the treatment group, ulcer pain score was decreased by 79.2% and 93.8% and ulcer size was reduced by 69.1% and 92.2% (days 3 and 5, respectively), which was significantly greater than the control group (P < 0.01).


The decoction prepared with of Nicotiana tabacum leaves, used as mouthwash are well-tolerated and safe, and can be used for the management of recurrent aphthous.

Great sites:


Canker Sore Causes & Treatments

What are canker sores?

Canker sores, otherwise known as mouth ulcers or aphthous ulcers, are disruptions of oral mucosa and can be extremely painful. Canker sores form on the inside of the lips, cheeks or under the tongue. They are very common and occur most often among teens or young adults in their twenties. Even with effective treatment, recurrences are common.

What are the symptoms of canker sores?

Canker sores usually are red with a whitish coating. The cause a burning pain that gets worse when the sores are irritated by food or acidic beverages such as orange juice. Most heal without treatment within a week to 10 days. Unfortunately, there’s no treatment that reliably eliminates them or relieves the pain they cause. Unlike cold sores (or fever blisters) canker sores are not contagious.

What are the causes of canker sores?

Canker sores can be a symptom of sensitivity to gluten (gluten is the protein in wheat and other grains). To find out if that’s the problem, ask your doctor to test you for gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease. Beyond that, we don’t know for sure what causes canker sores that recur. They may be due to an immune system problem; some experts believe that bacteria or viruses may be involved with the creation of canker sores. Fatigue, stress or allergies can increase the likelihood of a canker sore. Another possible cause of canker sores is physical trauma (accidentally biting the inside of your cheeks) or a reaction to hot foods or beverages. Canker sores tend to occur among women during menstruation, so hormonal changes may also be a factor. Deficiencies of vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, and iron are also suspected as contributing to the development canker sores, but there’s not much scientific evidence to back up these theories.

What is the conventional treatment of canker sores?

Those looking for how to get rid of canker sores will often use prescription anti-inflammatory ointments and canker sore medicines (such as Aphthasol or Kenalog in Orabase) applied directly to the sore. These canker sore treatments don’t cure the canker sores, but they may prevent them from becoming irritated and more painful when you eat, drink or brush your teeth. You can also try taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief from canker sores. Other pain remedies include equal amounts of milk of magnesia and Benadryl Allergy Liquid mixed together; swish a teaspoon in your mouth for about one minute and then spit it out. Doing this every four to six hours may reduce canker sore pain.
Other canker sore treatments include sucking on zinc lozenges, taking vitamin C or vitamin B complex, using a sage-and-chamomile mouthwash or taking a lysine supplement to address discomfort.

What therapies does Dr. Weil recommend for the treatment of canker sores?

  • Use goldenseal mouth rinse. In one cup of warm water, mix one quarter teaspoon of salt and one half teaspoon or the contents of one capsule of goldenseal powder (it will not dissolve completely).
  • Take a B-100 B complex vitamin supplement daily.
  • Try applying tincture of propolis, available at health food stores. Propolis, the cement made by honeybees to construct their hives, has remarkable antiseptic and healing properties.
  • Use DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), a licorice extract with mucosa healing properties that you can buy in the health food store as chewable tablets or powder. Make a paste of the substance with saliva and apply it to the sore area.
  • Take slippery elm powder mixed to a paste with water; alternatively, suck on slippery elm lozenges, available in both drug and health food stores.
  • Topically apply alum powder, available in the spice sections of supermarkets, directly to an ulcer. It will burn for a few minutes and will promote rapid healing.
  • Mind/body medicine, such as hypnosis or guided imagery, can be effective.
  • Probiotics (products that help replenish the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract) may also be helpful.
  • Try to minimize the discomfort of canker sores by avoiding acidic and spicy foods as well as abrasive foods such as nuts, all of which can be irritating.
  • Switch to a toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent that may contribute to recurrences.


11 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Canker Sores

Canker SoresApthous stomatitis, more commonly known as canker sores, are mysterious mouth ulcers that have plagued most people at some point in their lives. I say “mysterious” because it’s not totally known what causes these pesky painful spots on the inside of the mouth, although biting your cheek/inside of your lip, braces rubbing, stress, genetics, and a malfunctioning immune response are all possible contributors.
How to get rid of canker sores with natural remedies…

Starting as a red patch of oval skin, they’ll typically become increasingly inflamed and develop a white or yellow-ish spot in the middle. Now, how to get rid of canker sores?

With a handful of natural ingredients, it’s not difficult to find ways to soothe the pain they cause (and make it so you can chew your food normally and talk without a lisp, which are also important things to consider.)
Numbing Spray Remedy

1. DIY Numbing Spray

Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil both have anti-inflammatory properties, while also possibly working as anti-microbial agents (thus reducing chance of infection.) astringents to help tighten the tissues around the wound, relieving further discomfort caused by swelling or potential fluid buildup. The cooling properties of both of these oils can also numb the nerve endings that are firing off.
You will need…
-2 tablespoons of olive or grapeseed oil
-10 drops of peppermint essential oil
-8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
-A glass mister bottle
Pour the olive or grapeseed oil into a glass mister bottle, and add the essential oils. Cap, shake well, and spray some directly onto the canker sore as needed for pain relief. Shake before each use.

2. Chamomile Tea Bag

Chamomile consists of several daisy-like plants that are most commonly used to induce sleep, promote relaxation, and help with digestion-it works a treat with cramping since it can help relax painful spasms in the digestive track. A chemical compound called bisabolol, or levomenol, is found naturally in German chamomile, and has been shown to reduce inflammation and also have antiseptic properties. Both of these properties will help reduce the pain of canker sores and potentially help speed the healing process.
You will need…
-1 bag of chamomile tea, or a tablespoon of dried flowers wrapped in cheesecloth
-Fresh water
Soak the chamomile in water for 1 minute or so if using a teabag, and 3-4 if using dried flowers. After soaking place it directly against the sore for 5-10 minutes twice daily to help relieve discomfort and promote speedy healing.

3. Swish Sage

Sage is an herb from the evergreen shrub, Salvia officinalis, in the mint family. It used widely in the culinary world, and has also been prevalent in homeopathic medicine and home remedies for years. Native American’s used sage long before modern medicine to help cleanse the mouth, and to heal the painful ulcers that we now know as canker sores.
You will need…
-A handful of fresh sage OR 2 teaspoons dried sage
-4-8 ounces of fresh water
If you are using dried sage, boil your water and allow the herb to infuse for 10 minutes. Swish the water, and the herb, in your mouth for 1 minute before spitting it out and rinsing with plain cold water. You can also make a tea-type rinse with fresh leaves, but I prefer the following method.
Place your sage leaves in an airtight glass jar in a cool dark place and allow them to infuse for 24 hours. Swish the liquid (sans the sage) in your mouth for 1 minute. Lightly pound the soft, moist leaves to a pulp and then place the pulp directly over the sore for 5 minutes. Rinse with plain cold water.
Coconut Oil

4. Coconut Oil

When in doubt, use coconut oil! Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and also incredibly tasty, coconut oil is almost fail-safe when it comes to getting rid of canker sores.
You will need…
-Coconut oil
Using clean hands or a cotton swab, dab a liberal amount of coconut oil onto the sore. Try to get a somewhat thick layer or clump on there-coconut oil melts rapidly and a thin layer just seems to slide right off. If you feel like you really can’t get it to stick, melt 1 tablespoon down with ½ teaspoon or so of beeswax to thicken it.

5. Clove Oil Cotton Ball

Clove oil contains eugenol, a potent painkiller, and has been used by dentists throughout decades to bring relief to patients. All those old-time depictions you see of dentists with giant pliers and their patients appearing to be in agony? They clearly forgot the clove oil. Eugenol is still used today, although in a pure extracted form, but clove oil remains useful for oral pain ranging from toothaches to canker sores.
You will need…
-1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
-4-5 drops of clove essential oil
-Cotton balls
-Warm water/salt water
Swish your mouth with warm water or salt water to get the area clean, allowing the clove oil to really sink in and do its job. Mix the clove oil with the olive oil and then soak a cotton ball in it. Apply the cotton ball directly to the sore for 5-8 minutes for numbing relief.
Honey for Canker Sores

6. Honey Rub

With its antibacterial, and potentially anti-inflammatory, properties, raw organic honey makes a wonderfully soothing coating for a painful canker sore.
You will need…
-A wee dab of organic raw honey
-Warm water
Swish some warm water in your mouth, and then apply a thick dab of organic raw honey directly to the sore. Reapply 2-3 times daily (at least one of those times should be before night, as it seems to do best when you aren’t bothering it by talking or eating.)

7. Wax Cap

If you have a sore that keeps rubbing against your tooth, or if you have braces and or dentures that are irritating the sore, putting a little wax “capping” over the surface can help reduce irritating friction against the sore and help speed up the healing time. If you are placing this over braces, it’s important to make it thick enough that it doesn’t just get ground into the brace and stuck.
You will need…
-1 tablespoon of beeswax
-2 teaspoons of coconut oil
Melt down the beeswax and coconut oil and allow the mixture to cool slightly. When it has cooled, gently press a dollop over the edge of your tooth/braces/dentures to protect the canker sore from rubbing.
Pepper Paste

8. Cayenne “Cream”

Cayenne contains a substance called capsaicin, which is the same chemical constituent that makes it “hot.” Capsaicin can inhibit something called Substance P, which is responsible for mediating pain responses in the body. Because of this, cayenne makes a great home remedy for canker sores, even though it sounds like the opposite thing you’d want to use!
You will need…
-Cayenne pepper
-Warm water
-Cotton swabs
Mix just enough warm water with ground cayenne pepper to form a thick paste. Use a cotton swab to apply directly to the canker sore. Reapply 2-3 times daily for pain relief.

9. Aloe Rinse

The king (or queen) of soothing plants-aloe! The gel from this magnificent plant wields mighty powers when it comes to soothing not just sunburn, but canker sores as well. Make sure you use natural gel-not the green kind.
You will need…
-1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel
-1 tablespoon of water
Stir the gel into the water and swish it gently over the sore 3 time’s day to ease the pain and facilitate healing.

10. Eat Yogurt

Yogurt is made from fermented milk-delicious, yes? It is produced by bacterial fermentation, that is, using bacteria or yeast to convert carbohydrates into organic acids. The result is a tangy bacteria rich substance that is enjoyed worldwide. You most often hear of it restoring a healthy balance to gut flora, but eaten daily yogurt may one of the home remedies for canker sores you find yourself going to frequently. It’s a simple healthy remedy that may help because it balances out bacteria in your mouth which, if it was out of balance, may contribute to or cause a canker sore.
You will need…
-Plain yogurt with live cultures
Make sure the label on the yogurt confirms that it contains live cultures, and make sure you get plain-not vanilla! Eat at the very minimum 1 tablespoon 3 times daily. I usually eat around a cup and add a little bit of raw honey for taste and an extra healing boost!
Salt Water

11. Warm Salt Water

When the salt content around cells is greater on the outside than the inside osmosis takes place, with water being drawn from in the cells to help balance out the concentration. When water is drawn out, the painful puffiness that excess fluid can cause is diminished. If you have a canker sore that is really puffed up that keeps rubbing or that you keep biting, gargling with salt water can help greatly. This is also why salt water gargles help with a sore throat-reducing the painful swelling of the cells in the mucous membrane at the back of the throat. The warm water also produces a general sense of soothing relief, while the salt may help keep the area clean.
You will need…
-1/4 cup of warm salt water
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
Stir the salt into the warm water and swish it around in your mouth 3 times daily until the canker sore is gone.

Canker Sore Tips

– Try to avoid acidic foods when you have a canker sore, as they can prolong healing. Some people find that acidic foods may trigger their sores. Oddly, on the flip side, some anecdotal evidence suggests that a bit of very acidic juice (e.g. lemon juice) can sometimes help.
– Experiment with different home remedies for canker sores. Mix and match the ones on the list-for example, rinse with aloe and then follow up with the cayenne cream.
– Pay attention to your body-if you find yourself with canker sores breaking out every time you have a project deadline to meet, take time to yourself to relax. You deserve it.
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