Canker sores are a miserable drag, taking the joy out of eating and making you wonder how something so very tiny can be so very painful. While it's not known what exactly causes canker sores, stress, genetics, and a malfunctioning immune system may contribute to their development, and people who have braces may be more susceptible to getting them.
Happily, there are a number of home remedies that can shorten the life span of canker sores and reduce the intensity of the pain they cause.
- Essential Oils. You can make your own essential oil concoction to dab on your canker sores to reduce swelling and pain. Eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils are natural anti-inflammatories, and they have anti-microbial agents that help prevent infection. They both have cooling powers as well, which can soothe the sore spots and bring some relief. To make your own essential oil medication for canker sores, simply add 10 drops of peppermint oil and 8 drops of eucalyptus oil to a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Store it in a small glass jar away from sunlight and heat. Shake it up and dab it on your canker sore with a cotton swab as needed.
- Sage Rinse. Sage belongs to the mint family, and it has cooling and healing properties that can bring relief and shorten the life of the canker sore. To make a sage rinse, boil four ounces of water, and toss in two teaspoons of dried sage. Let it steep for 10 minutes, then let it cool. Take a swig, and swish it around in your mouth for a full minute. Spit it out, and rinse with cold water. Repeat every couple of hours.
- Coconut Oil Salve. Coconut oil is a delicious, miraculous substance that has serious anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can help you get rid of your canker sore in no time. Dab a generous slathering of coconut oil on the sore as needed for relief.
- Clove Oil Numbing Solution. Clove essential oil is rife with eugenol, a powerful pain reliever that's been used in dentistry for eons. Add five drops of clove oil to a half-teaspoon of olive oil. Before you slather it on, rinse your mouth with warm salt water to clean the sore and prep it for application. Then, soak a cotton ball in the solution, and put it directly on the canker sore. Leave it on for five or 10 minutes to numb the heck out of it.
- Live-Culture Yogurt Snack. Live-culture yogurt is great for promoting good gut bacteria, but it may also help you rebalance the bacteria in your mouth to speed up the healing of a canker sore. It's worth a shot to consume a couple of servings of yogurt a day. Just make sure the yogurt you buy contains live cultures, since that's what makes the magic happen.
Next time you or someone you love gets a canker sore, try one of these remedies before purchasing expensive medications that leave a yucky taste in your mouth. You'll save money while getting the relief you need with all-natural substances, and you can't beat that.