What are the Best Home Remedies for Canker Sores?

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  • Written By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 23 December 2019
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Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are painful blisters that can appear in various areas of a person's mouth, including the tongue and the inside of the cheek. There is no cure for these types of mouth sores — most will eventually heal on their own. The best home remedies for canker sores will depend on the type and seriousness of the sore but they include rinsing with a hydrogen peroxide or saltwater solution. Canker sore treatments are typically administered to ease pain, but can also facilitate the healing process.

One of the tried-and-true home remedies for canker sores is a hydrogen peroxide solution. You can make the solution by mixing one part hydrogen peroxide with one part water and applying the solution directly on the canker sore. This natural cure will also decrease pain and the amount of bacteria in the mouth.

Another simple home remedy for canker sore pain includes rinsing with a saltwater solution. This involves mixing one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water and swishing it in the mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. You could also try adding a half-teaspoon of baking soda to the saltwater to create a paste to spread on the canker sores, which can lessen pain. Both saltwater and baking soda solutions can also help heal the fever blisters by decreasing alkalinity and bacteria in the mouth.


Milk of magnesia, a liquid suspension of magnesium hydroxide, is also among the best home remedies for canker sores. It can be dabbed directly on the fever blister several times a day to stop pain and hasten the healing process. This natural cure is often recommended after applying a hydrogen peroxide solution. Milk of magnesia can also be mixed with one-part liquid allergy medicine, which should be swished in the mouth for about one minute.

If a mouth sore has just sprouted, applying an ice cube every couple of minutes for about 15 minutes can minimize it. Among other proven home remedies for canker sores is the herb, lady's mantle — scientifically known as Alchemilla vulgaris.

Major open sores may require treatment from a dentist, who will probably prescribe oral medicine, corticoid steroids or dexamethasone, which is rinsed in the mouth. Mouth sores that do not improve after two weeks, recur more often than two or three times a year or are accompanied by a fever, diarrhea, headache or skin rash may also require medical attention.



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