Health & Fitness

Managing Canker Sores: Traditional Remedies And Treatments 

Canker sores, medically referred to as aphthous ulcers, can be a painful nuisance. These small, shallow ulcers appear in the mouth, making eating and talking uncomfortable. Although the exact cause remains unknown, certain factors such as stress, minor injuries, food sensitivities, and deficiencies in specific vitamins can trigger them. 

Fortunately, it’s possible to manage canker sores effectively using traditional remedies and treatments. To start, read some helpful information on this blog post and discover how essential oils and other traditional remedies and treatments can relieve discomfort and speed up the healing process. 

  • Using Essential Oils For Relief 

Essential oils, known for their therapeutic properties, can be a beneficial addition to your canker sore management routine. Their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties may help reduce inflammation and prevent infection. 

For example, chamomile oil is known for its soothing properties. You can rinse by diluting a few drops of this oil in a glass of warm water. Swish this concoction in your mouth for a minute before spitting it out.   

Despite their benefits, remember that essential oils are potent substances. This implies that you should dilute them properly before use and never ingest them. If you’re new to essential oils or have a pre-existing condition, consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating them into your routine. 

  • Choosing The Right Foods 

Besides the external application of essential oils, the food you consume can also play a vital role in managing canker sores. So, ensure to nourish your body with soft, bland foods to avoid irritating your mouth. Steer clear of spicy, acidic, or salty foods that can aggravate your sores. 

Simultaneously, you’ll want to incorporate foods high in B-12, zinc, folate, and iron into your diet. A deficiency in these nutrients can exacerbate the problem, so be sure to eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. 

  • Applying Over-The-Counter Topical Products 

Over-the-counter (OTC) products can be your first-line defense against canker sores. They are designed to relieve pain, protect the sores from further irritation, and sometimes even speed up the healing process. Here are some types of OTC products and how they can assist in managing your canker sores: 

  • Topical Analgesics: These products contain numbing agents like benzocaine or lidocaine. They temporarily numb the area, providing immediate relief from pain. Apply a small amount of the product directly to the canker sore as directed on the package. 
  • Oral Gels, Pastes, And Liquids: Some of these products form a protective film over the canker sore, which protects it from further irritation and helps it to heal faster. Generally, these are applied after meals to shield the sore during eating and drinking. 

Each of these OTC remedies has its unique benefits. However, always follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure safe and effective use.  

If these treatments don’t reduce discomfort or speed up healing, it may be necessary to consult a healthcare professional for the right canker sore treatment. You can also consider homemade mouth rinses if you prefer to try a more holistic approach. 

  • Opting For Homemade Mouth Rinses 

Another traditional remedy for managing canker sores is using homemade mouth rinses. These are simple to make and can offer a significant degree of relief.  

A common choice is a saltwater rinse. Just dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. 

Similarly, a baking soda rinse can be very effective. To make this rinse, mix a teaspoon of baking soda in half a cup of warm water. This rinse can help to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. 

  • Using Ice Cubes 

Beyond mouth rinses, another traditional yet simple method is using ice cubes for canker sores. Sucking on an ice cube can help numb the pain, reducing discomfort substantially. The cold temperature from the ice can reduce inflammation, potentially accelerating the healing process. However, remember to wrap the ice cube in a thin cloth before placing it in your mouth to prevent tissue damage. 

In addition, be mindful of using the ice cube for an extended period, as this could lead to further mouth irritation or even frostbite. While it’s a simple method, use it cautiously to maximize its benefits without causing additional issues. 

  • Maintaining Oral Hygiene 

In addition to using ice cubes, maintaining good oral hygiene is vital for managing canker sores. Regular brushing and flossing can ward off bacteria, reducing the risk of infections that may delay the healing process. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid further irritating the sores. 

Consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash to prevent drying out your mouth and exacerbating canker sore discomfort. An alcohol-free mouthwash helps maintain cleanliness without causing additional irritation. Drinking water regularly can also promote a healthy oral environment and aid in faster recovery from these pesky ulcers. 


Whether it’s using over-the-counter products, making your own mouth rinses, or tweaking your diet, these traditional remedies can go a long way in providing relief. However, if your sores persist for more than two weeks, don’t hesitate to seek professional medical help. After all, your health should always be your priority. 


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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