Mouth ulcers are quite common and irritating. These painful, open sores are white in color, surrounded by an inflamed red border. More often than not, they appear on the inside of the cheeks, lips, under the tongue, and on the floor of the mouth.
They can be caused by a number of factors like food triggers, constipation, hereditary factors, hormonal changes, excess acidity, accidental cheek bites, stress, and deficiencies of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, iron, or other nutrients.
Mouth ulcers are usually not serious and tend to heal within seven to 10 days. Major and herpetiform ulcers, however, take longer to heal. Major ulcers are usually deeper, and more than 10 mm in diameter. Herpetiform ulcers appear as a cluster of a large number of small ulcers.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for mouth ulcers.
1. Licorice Root
Mouth ulcers can be cured with licorice root, as this herb works as a demulcent and forms a protective coating on the mucous membranes that resists irritation and soothes open lesions. It also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
- Soak one tablespoon of crushed licorice root in two cups of water for two to three hours.
- Use it as a mouth rinse several times a day.
You can also take deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) extract available as chewable tablets or gargle with DGL dissolved in warm water.
2. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is highly beneficial in soothing the pain of mouth ulcers.
- Mix a little honey in one tablespoon of coconut milk. Massage the affected area with it. Do this three or four times a day.
- Alternatively, you can simply rinse your mouth with fresh coconut milk or massage coconut oil on the affected area.
3. Sea Salt and Hydrogen Peroxide
Both sea salt and hydrogen peroxide have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and disinfectant properties. Hence, you can use the ingredients separately or in an effective combination to cure mouth ulcers or canker sores.
- Add two teaspoons each of sea salt and 3% hydrogen peroxide to a glass of warm water. Mix it well.
- Use it as a mouth rinse.
- Repeat once or twice a day. Make sure you do not swallow the solution.
4. Coriander Seeds
An infusion of coriander seeds is an Ayurvedic remedy that can bring considerable relief and reduce inflammation.
- Boil one teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water. Strain it and allow it to cool.
- Swish it around in your mouth.
- Do this three or four times a day.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, helps treat mouth ulcers. It is especially helpful for those caused by acidic foods or drinks as baking soda helps neutralize acid. It will also reduce inflammation and remove germs and bacteria. Be aware that it may cause a burning sensation.
- Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a little water to make a thin paste. Dab it on the affected area. Repeat this several times a day.
- Alternatively, you can simply put baking soda directly on your mouth ulcer.
Honey can soothe ulcers as it helps retain moisture and accelerates the healing process. It also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
Simply dip a cotton swab in honey and dab it on the affected area. You can also use glycerin or vitamin E oil in the same way. For mouth sores caused by radiation therapy, use manuka honey.
7. Aloe Vera
Applying aloe vera gel or juice on the affected area alleviates pain, promotes healing, and works as a natural antiseptic. It also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Research has shown it is useful for dealing with oral health problems such as mouth ulcers, cold sores, gingivitis, and lichen planus.
In addition, it contains folic acid and vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and others. For best results, after chewing the celery stalk, keep the pulp on the affected area for about 10 minutes. In addition to healing your mouth ulcers, it will keep bad breath at bay.
- Wash four or five basil leaves thoroughly.
- Chew them and sip a little water afterwards.
- Do this twice a day, in the morning and evening.
It will also cure bad breath.
Ice is an effective home remedy to numb the pain of mouth ulcers. It is particularly helpful when you apply ice on the affected area as soon as you experience symptoms, like a tingling and burning sensation, before the shallow ulceration appears.
Besides trying these home remedies, make sure you do not eat spicy or acidic foods. Also, use a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth. If your mouth ulcers are extremely discomforting and affecting your daily habits, consult your doctor for treatment.