Canker sores are irritating and painful – and they never seem to go away quickly enough. The ulcers are open, painful and they keep coming back, even though there is nothing wrong with your oral health or your general health.
So What Causes Canker Sores?
The medical term for canker sores is apthous stomatitis, and the exact cause of the condition is not known. The condition is characterized by the formation of repeat ulcers in the mouth, irrespective of the patient’s general health. Researchers feel that a combination of factors like nutritional deficiencies, trauma, stress, hormones and allergies could contribute to the formation and development of ulcers. Most ulcers are small, about one to two millimetres in size, but patients have reported larger ulcers. Symptoms may range from minimal pain to severe debilitating pain and difficulty eating and drinking.
As the cause of the condition is not known, most doctors offer palliative treatment that helps to control the pain. You will most likely be prescribed a corticosteroid ointment or an over-the-counter solution to control pain. To soothe the ulcer, you can also use an antimicrobial mouthwash. However, apart from these remedies, you can also use home remedies to help control the ulcer and reduce the pain sensations.
#1 – Honey
Honey is sweet and it is a lovely thing to eat but it is just as great on wounds. Did you know that honey has a strong antibacterial property? Since ancient times, honey was used to dress wounds to reduce infection and to promote healing. Ayurvedic medicine recommends mixing honey with a pinch of turmeric powder to form a paste. Topical applications of this paste, left on for 15 minutes, can promote healing.
#2 – Baking Soda
Baking soda seems to work really well and it’s probably a common ingredient in every kitchen. A simple mix of baking soda and water should help to control the pain and the ulcer.
#3 – Yogurt
Yogurt contains millions of beneficial probiotic bacteria. Increasing your intake of this beneficial bacterial can definitely improve your health and stabilize your digestion. Some naturopaths also recommend wiping fresh yogurt on to the ulcer to reduce infection and to promote healing.
#4- Up Your Vitamin Intake
One of the causes of oral sores is a vitamin deficiency. Popping a multivitamin pill may cause the ulcer to heal faster. You can also try improving your diet by adding fresh leafy vegetables, legumes, and fruits to improve your health.
#5 – Liquorice Root
#6 – Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has very strong antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, and it is commonly used to prevent infections in wounds. Ideally, the oil is diluted anywhere from five to 10 percent with water and used as an oral rinse to promote healing.
A Word of Caution
While most ulcers resolve by themselves in a week, home remedies help control the condition. However, you should visit your dentist or a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms:
Unusually large sores that keep increasing in size and that spread from their primary location.
Intolerable pain, even after using prescribed medications and creams
A high fever, body ache and general malaise,
An unusually high number of canker sores in your mouth at the same tie
These symptoms may indicate underlying medical conditions that have to be dealt with immediately. It’s a good idea to visit your dentist immediately for an urgent evaluation in case the ulcer bleeds or changes in appearance.