How to Cure Canker and Mouth Sores

March 21, 2019
Canker and mouth sores have several causes. In this article, we'll tell you how to treat them and how you can reduce your risk of future sores.

Canker and mouth sores are small wounds that manifest in the mouth. Although they tend to be small, their location makes them uncomfortable and painful. Hot, cold, crunchy, and acidic foods can irritate them, causing further discomfort. They take a while to cure due to the moisture in the mouth and food consumption.

In this article, we’ll share some solutions to help cure canker and mouth sores fast.

The Causes of Canker and Mouth Sores

Although they’re very common, the truth is that no one knows precisely why they appear. What we do know is that canker and mouth sores affect 20% of the population. They cause painful speaking and eating.

They are two types: simple or complex. The former appear a few times a year and last for about a week in people between the ages of 10 and 20. The latter are less common and the ones who suffer from them have already suffered some sort of cold sore.

Some factors that trigger them are:

  • Stress
  • Acid or citrus foods
  • Mouth injuries caused by food or utensils
  • A weakened immune system
  • Nutritional problems or gastrointestinal disease
  • Orthodontics (braces).

We must pay attention to the difference between canker sores and herpes labialis, which can be identical in their appearance. Herpes labialis is caused by a simple virus and is contagious, while canker sores aren’t. In addition, the former may appear on other parts of the face, such as the lips, nose, and under the chin.

If you have a canker sore, you may experience burning and a painful tingling sensation, as well as white or gray round sores with red borders. Also, you may have a fever and swollen lymph nodes.

The good thing about canker sores is that they almost always disappear on their own in about 7 to 10 days. The pain can be very annoying, but the important thing is not to touch it with your teeth nor tongue, even though you may be tempted to.

Natural Remedies to Cure Canker and Mouth Sores


Salt to cure canker and mouth sores.

This is one of the cheapest effective antiseptics in the world. It’s a great ally to heal wounds naturally.

  • All you have to do is mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth with it.
  • Spit the mixture out and repeat the process at least three times a day.

Your pain and discomfort will gradually decrease.

You should also read: 8 Remedies That May Help Heal Mouth Ulcers

Baking Soda

Baking soda is also an effective antiseptic in these cases.

  • Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of water.
  • Then, rinse your mouth with the mixture without swallowing the liquid.
  • You can also make a baking soda paste with some water and apply it on your canker or mouth sore.
  • Leave it on for a few minutes so it takes effect.
  • Then, rinse the paste with cold water.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This is another surefire remedy for canker and mouth sores.

  • Take a cotton swab or ball and soak it in hydrogen peroxide.
  • Apply it directly on the sore three times a day.

It will soothe your discomfort and help reduce the risk of infection.

This may interest you: 8 Natural Hydrogen Peroxide Remedies



The key to treating canker and mouth sores is to apply antiseptics that don’t infect the area.

Mouthwash is a remedy that can soothe your discomfort and control the growth of bacteria. Don’t use too much of it, however, especially if it’s very strong, because it’ll probably sting.


An ice cube can heal sores gradually and, in turn, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It acts as a sedative.

  • Put an ice cube on the affected area as often as you consider necessary.


Thanks to the acid content of the milk and the bacteria it contains, yogurt will help change the pH of the mouth and control the growth of new bacteria.

  • Eat a yogurt every day, especially if you suffer from canker and mouth sores often.
  • You can also apply it directly on the sore with a swab.

Tips to Prevent the Formation of Canker and Mouth Sores

A man with a mouth sore.

Sometimes, a poor diet can lead to mouth sores, as well as vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Therefore, it’s best to include them in your diet. Other conditions that may cause sores are iron or folate deficiency anemia, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease, among others.

Don’t hesitate to add foods that contain iron, such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and milk, to your diet.

Also, be careful when you brush your teeth, because it can cause similar injuries or irritation. The same goes for when you eat crunchy foods such as cookies, bread, toast, etc.

Finally, avoid acidic or spicy foods and chewing gum, and don’t forget to floss after every meal to always keep your mouth clean and healthy.