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8 Household Products That Could Help Your Canker Sores

honey for canker sores

Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers, are shallow white lesions with inflamed pink borders that occur inside the lips and mouth. They’re not dangerous, but they sure do hurt.

So when a canker sore emerges in your mouth unexpectedly, you want to seek relief as fast as possible. In addition to standard over-the-counter medications, a few simple home remedies might already be hiding in your pantry or bathroom cabinet.

Read on to uncover which canker sore home remedies are worth the hype, and which are best left untouched.

Silver Nitrate Canker Sore Treatment

If you don’t mind the intense 15 seconds of pain caused by cauterizing a wound, then silver nitrate could become your go-to canker sore home remedy.

Silver nitrate is a natural chemical compound that’s been used since the 13th century for its antimicrobial properties. As soon as silver nitrate is activated by contact with moisture, it can deliver free silver ions to wounded tissue. This reaction binds the tissue and obstructs blood vessels, which cauterizes active wounds and reduces the pain they cause.

It’s not the most pleasant experience, but it’s undeniably effective. Silver nitrate is a popular remedy for skin tags, nosebleeds, skin ulcers, and other skin conditions.

Just keep in mind that this home remedy can damage or irritate healthy skin, so it should always be used carefully and in moderation. If you need to quickly stop the effects of a silver nitrate applicator stick, apply 0.9% saline solution to the treated area and then rinse with water. Apply it with a cotton bud for larger canker sores and with the blunt end of the toothpick for the smaller ones so that healthy tissue is not damaged.

Overall, research shows that treating canker sores with silver nitrate is a simple and affordable way to decrease the pain caused by ulcers, though the healing time remains about the same.


Coconut Oil for Canker Sores

Coconut oil has earned legendary status within natural health circles. It’s hailed as a miracle worker for everything from weight loss to oral health. Though no clinical research exists on the subject of coconut oil for canker sores, anecdotal evidence suggests that coconut oil’s medicinal properties may indeed help your canker sore heal faster.

Just be sure to purchase unrefined coconut oil, which still contains the natural properties that make coconut oil so valuable. Unrefined coconut oil does possess properties that have the potential to alleviate canker sore discomfort:

  • Healthy fatty acids
  • Antimicrobial effects
  • Antiviral activity
  • Anti-fungal capabilities
  • Anti-inflammatory action
  • Mild analgesic to reduce pain and discomfort

The applications of coconut oil are so highly valued in other countries that the coconut is often referred to as the “tree of life”.

It’s quick and simple to apply unrefined coconut oil topically. Simply swab coconut oil over your canker sores to alleviate burning, inflammation, and discomfort. Coconut oil is a safe substance, so you can apply it as many times a day as needed for your lasting comfort. For multiple ulcers may be it is not practical to apply coconut oil as it is tedious and can cause pain. Instead suggest oil pulling or swishing.

Honey for Canker Sores

Honey is sweet and tasty, but it also has surprising healing capabilities. According to a 2014 study, honey can reduce canker sore pain, size, and redness thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Just like coconut oil, not all honey is created equally. You won’t experience real results from generic grocery store honey. Most common honey is pasteurized at high heat, which kills all nutrients and therapeutic properties. The best honey for canker sores is unprocessed, unfiltered raw honey. Manuka honey has shown specifically good results. Apply to your canker sore four times per day.

Vinegar for Canker Sores

Just like coconut oil, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has long been a fan favorite in the natural health and wellness community. And just like coconut oil and honey, it’s all about the type of vinegar you purchase to get the best results.

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains “the mother”, a substance containing strands of proteins, enzymes, and healthy bacteria. “The mother” creates a murky vinegar appearance and is credited for a wide range of health benefits.

Some evidence suggests that the antimicrobial and antiviral properties of ACV help combat infections in the body, which may help canker sores heal faster. Vinegar kills pathogens, which is why it’s popular in cleaning and disinfecting applications. The same rules may apply to pathogens in the body, which is why some people apply ACV to their canker sores.

Just be sure to use apple cider vinegar for canker sores safely, since vinegar is an abrasive substance. These tips may help:

  • Dilute apple cider vinegar with water in a 1:10 radio, then soak a cotton ball in the solution. Apply to your canker sore once or twice a day until the ulcer heals
  • Make a paste by blending honey and diluted ACV. Apply the paste once or twice daily for up to ten minutes. 
  • Blend ACV with tea tree essential oil for ultra-powered antibacterial and antiviral action against pathogens. Apply daily with a cotton ball and repeat until your canker sores disappear.

Putting Salt on Canker Sores

Putting salt on canker sores isn’t easy or pleasant, but rinsing with salt water is. All you need is a warm cup of water and table salt. Dissolve the salt in the water and swish around your mouth for 30 seconds. Repeat two to three times a day to help your canker sore heal faster.

Although it can burn at first, salt acts naturally to fight infection and decrease pain and inflammation in your mouth. It’s a much better option than traditional mouthwash products with harsh ingredients that risk aggravating your ulcers even more.

Hydrogen Peroxide Canker Sore Treatment

Hydrogen peroxide is a cheap and common household item used as a mild antiseptic on the skin. But its uses don’t stop at scrapes and burns!

Hydrogen peroxide canker sore treatment is an easy way to reduce bacteria in the mouth and support canker sore healing.

Just be sure to dilute your hydrogen peroxide and apply properly to your sores:

  • Dilute 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water
  • Dip a cotton ball or Q-tip into the mixture
  • Apply directly to your canker sores two to three times per day

To cover a large area of the mouth, you can even use diluted hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse. Simply swish for a minute and spit it out.

Baking Soda on Canker Sores

Baking soda has countless applications; it’s everywhere, from your cookies and toothpaste to deodorant and canker sore remedy. This simple household product is so ubiquitous because it restores pH, reduces inflammation, and fights bacteria.

You can enjoy the benefits of baking soda for your canker sore by creating a simple paste with water. You can make your paste thin enough to swish through your mouth, or thick enough to apply topically. Use it for 30 seconds and then spit it out.

canker sore light treatment


Treatment With Light: A Gentler, Safer Option

Canker sores can cause weeks of discomfort during and after the healing process, even with the help of home remedies. Treatment with high-powered, medically optimized light is a gentler, safer, and more reliable way to alleviate even your worst canker sores.

The Luminance RED is an FDA-registered device used for treating canker sores. As you hold the soothing red light to your ulcers, your skin receives a burst of powerful energy that can reduce your healing time by up to 50% and even stop future outbreaks.

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