Have you been suffering from frequent mouth ulcers? We feel you. Mouth ulcers or canker sores are lesions that develop in the oral cavity and can be as annoying as they are painful. They turn your mouth into a landmine where every single morsel of food that passes through can feel like an explosion. Although they are common and clear up in a few days, they cause too much discomfort. In some cases, the person may simultaneously have multiple sores in the mouth, which can interfere with eating, drinking and even talking.
What Are Mouth Ulcers?
Mouth ulcers or canker sores are lesions that develop in the mucous membranes of your mouth. They may resemble a crater and may be red or yellow. The most common sites where canker sores appear are in the cheeks, lips, gums and on the tongue.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers?
Accidentally biting your inner cheeks while eating, poorly fitting dentures, hormonal changes, anxiety and stress, hard food, etc. are some of the most frequent causes of mouth ulcers.
According to NHS, certain foods like chocolate, spicy foods, coffee, peanuts, almonds, strawberries, cheese, tomatoes and wheat flour can trigger ulcers in the mouth.
Mouth ulcers need time to heal, and there aren’t any quick fixes. But many home remedies soothe the pain and prevent the sores from worsening. Here are some things you can use to lessen the pain and accelerate the healing.
Honey: Many home remedies for mouth ulcers call for using honey. The golden antiseptic of nature, honey helps in soothing the sores and speeding up the healing. According to a 2009 study published in the Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, honey proved to be an effective agent in healing oral ulcers. The study concluded that honey could be even more effective than Glyceroltriester or lipids used to coat the oral cavity as a protection against infections.
Coconut Oil: In the recent years, coconut oil has emerged as a favourite home remedy for numerous health problems. The oil-pulling technique which involves swishing coconut oil around the mouth is an old Ayurvedic technique to improve oral health. Studies say that the miracle ingredient is lauric acid in coconut oil, a potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent that soothes mouth ulcers. Virgin coconut oil is also an analgesic, which also helps reduce the pain.
Alum: Potassium alum or alum is used in most households for many reasons, including pickling and disinfecting. It is known to have antimicrobial properties, which makes it a great remedy to keep mouth ulcers from worsening. Powdered alum can be dissolved in water and used as mouthwash from time to time to accelerate healing.
Salt: Universally, salt is prized for its antimicrobial properties. That’s why it is usually used to cure foods to increase their shelf life. The way warm salt-water gargles help soothe an infected throat, it can also help heal canker sores or ulcers. Salt is a natural antibiotic, which will arrest any bacterial growth in the ulcer.
Clove Oil: Clove oil is a wonderful remedy for any oro-dental problem, including ulcers. Using clove oil to treat ulcers serve two purposes – reducing infection and lessening the pain since it is a powerful analgesic. Use a tiny diluted quantity on the affected region. Too much clove oil can burn the delicate soft mucous membranes of the mouth.
Turmeric: Turmeric as an antibacterial needs no introduction. The golden spice is used extensively as an antiseptic to treat nicks and cuts. When used for canker sores, the spice can lessen the infection. To reap its benefits, use a salt and turmeric solution as mouthwash from time to time.
Do’s and don’ts
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Eat soft foods
- Get a regular checkup
- Follow oral hygiene
- Stay away from acidic, spicy and salty foods
- Don’t have hot drinks
- Don’t use toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulphate
Ideally, mouth ulcers should disappear within 10-14 time even without any treatment. Most of them can be resolved with home remedies. However, if ulcers persist for more than three weeks, visit the doctor as soon as you can.