Mouth ulcer, more commonly known as canker sores are grey or white sores surrounded by a red inflamed area. They are different from cold sores and occur only inside the mouth, on the tongue, or the insides of the cheeks, lips or throat.

Canker sores can happen to anyone, at any age. Simple canker sores are common in the age group of 10-20 years but complex canker sores can happen at any age. Complex canker sores are rare but can happen to people with the history of simple canker sores. People suffering from the infection causing canker sores will have to struggle with certain other symptoms like fever, swollen glands, fatigue, and multiple sores in the mouth and on the gums.

Canker sores are particularly bad news to the ‘bons vivants’ of the world. You have to carefully select the foods that are fit to consume when you have canker sores in your mouth.  Anything acidic, crispy, spicy, and very sugary foods are to be avoided. Soft foods that need less chewing like mashed potatoes, pasta, plain rice, and soft bread soups are recommended.  As if this news wasn’t bad enough, even drinking can hurt.

young beautiful healthy woman and reflection in the mirror

young beautiful healthy woman and reflection in the mirror

What causes canker sores is a hot subject of cogitation and altercations as they do not have a surefire specific cause. However there are some causes strong enough for us to put them in this list:

  • Vitamin deficiency- canker sores and other skin problems are often caused by the deficiency of vitamin B-12. Taking vitamin B-12 capsules or applying the contents of the capsule directly in the affected areas can offer quick results.
  • Mouth injuries- any type of injury or stress on the tissue of the mouth can cause canker sores. Using harsh mouthwashes, brushing too roughly, poorly fitted dentures etc. can cause these mouth ulcers. Lack of oral hygiene can also contribute in developing canker sores.
  • Nutritional deficiency- dearth of certain nutrients in the body like folic acid, zinc or iron can also cause canker sores.
  • Poor immune system- people with poor immune system are more prone to canker sores than others.

Canker sores, more often than not, does not require medical attention. There are certain remedies that you can try yourself to ease the pain and get rid of the thing altogether.

  • Rinse your mouth with mild mouthwashes or salt water.
  • Apply a mix of half hydrogen peroxide and half water directly to the sore using a cotton swab, 3-4 times a day

Few very effective home remedies may do the job in just a mere effort:

  • Coconut oil– the anti inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of coconut oil does magic when it comes to getting rid of the canker sores. Apply the coconut oil on the sore with a cotton swab.
  • Organic honey– raw honey also has an anti- inflammatory and anti-bacterial property which does wonder in getting rid from canker sores. Swish some warm water in your mouth and then apply a thick dab of raw organic honey. Repeat the process 2-3 times daily.
  • Cayenne pepper– cayenne contains a substance called capsaicin, which can help in mediating the pain responses in the body. Anything peppery might sound hellish but it makes a great home remedy for canker sores. Mix warm water with ground cayenne pepper and form a thick paste and with a cotton swab apply directly to the canker sore. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
  • Yogurt– yogurt is made by the bacterial fermentation and thus balances the bacterial formation inside your mouth and heals the canker sores. Eat one tb spoon of plain yogurt with live cultures at least 3 times a day.
  • Rinse with warm salt water– when you gargle with the warm salt water, the amount of salt outside the cells are greater than on the inside and thus osmosis takes place, with water being drawn from inside the cells to help balance out the concentration. Stir the salt in the warm water and swish it around three times a day daily until the canker sore is gone.

In some severe cases, medicines may be prescribed by your health care provider which may include-

  • Chlorhexidine mouthwash
  • Stronger medicines like corticosteroids that are taken in the form of a pill.

Don’t eat pungent and acidic fruits like pineapple and strawberries if you develop these canker sores more frequently. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss your teeth every day. Get routine oral checkups to further reduce your chances of getting canker sores.