Home remedies for mouth sores and ulcers

  Mouth sores or Canker sores   are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues of the mouth or they can grow at the base of t...

 Mouth sores or Canker sores  are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues of the mouth or they can grow at the base of the gums. Unlike cold sores , mouth sores don't  appear on the lips and are not communicable. They cause a lot of pain and they make eating and talking very difficult .

Mouth sores go away in a week or two without treatment. However, if they are present for a long time , or are unusually large or if they seem untreatable, You should consult your doctor.


Canker sores or mouth sores are lesions in the mouth. they appear as round or oval . They have red border and yellow or white in the middle. Mouth sores form inside your mouth  - on your cheeks, inner side of of your lips, under of over your tongue. They appear all of a  sudden and feel tingly at a first. But then they become very painful and have a burning sensation.

You will notice burning and tingling sensation at the region 2 days before hand.

There are two types of mouth sores :

Minor mouth sores:

They are very common and are characterized as small, oval shaped, they heal within one or two weeks. They produce no scars. These are  sore in  corner of mouth , on tongue or below the tongue, inner lip.

Major mouth sores:

They are larger and deeper than minor sores. They are round with defined borders but they grow in size, they have irregular borders . It can be extremely painful. Major mouth sores take six weeks to heal and can leave extensive scarring .

Herpetiform mouth sores:

Herpetiform canker sores usually develop later in life , but they are not caused by herpes virus.

These canker sores :

They are pinpoint size . They often occur in clusters of 10 or 100 sores . These pinpoint ulcers can merge into one ulcer. These one big ulcers have irregular edges . Although they might seem serious they heal in 2 weeks.

You should consult a doctor if:

  • They are usually larger canker sores.
  • if sores reoccur and are persistent for two weeks or more.
  • Sores that extend into the lips.
  • If you have immense pain that cannot be controlled by self care measures.
  • Very high fever along with mouth sores.

Cause of mouth sores:

There is no definite cause for mouth sores or canker sores. However, researchers have identified certain factors that trigger mouth sores.

Here are some triggers that causes mouth sores:

  • Minor injury in your mouth during dental surgery or any dental work.
  • Toothpaste or mouth rinses that contain surfactants like sodium lauryl sulphate.
  • Food sensitivities to chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese and spicy or acidic foods.
  • A diet lacking in zinc, vitamin B12 or iron.
  • Helicobacter pylori . It is the same bacteria that causes peptic ulcers.
  • Emotional stress
  • hormonal changes.

Canker sores or mouth sores can also occur because of certain conditions and diseases such as:

  • Celiac disease: It is a serious intestinal condition caused by sensitivity to gluten, proteins and most grains.
  • IBD or Inflammatory bowel disease , Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Bechet's disease: It is a rare disorder that causes inflammation in the entire body which includes mouth too.
  • Weak or faulty immune response
  • HIV/AIDS : these is because it cause weakened immune system.

They are not associated with herpes infection like the cold sores.


Anyone can develop canker sores  or mouth sores . However, they occur  in teens and young adults and they are common in females. Additionally it is also common in people with a history of mouth sores.

They can also occur if you are constantly exposed to allergens.

Home remedies for mouth sores:

There are many home remedies can help to speed up the healing process. However, they cannot cure the sores overnight. They aid in healing process and can reduce pain.

Here are some efficient home remedies which will help relieve you off mouth sores:

Alum powder:

It is mineral which comprises of potassium aluminum sulphate. Alum is used in clearing water as it complexes with impurities and causes them to  sediment. It is also used in pickles. Alum has astringent properties, which means that when it comes in contact with the tissues it causes shrinkage in the tissues. It helps in drying out the sores.

How to use:

create a paste of alum powder with a drop of water .

Apply it on the canker sore.

Leave it for one minute and rinse your mouth afterwards.

Repeat daily.

Salt water wash:

It is one of most easy home remedy for mouth sores. It is very easy to use. Just add a tsp. of salt to water in 1/2cup of warm water . Rinse your mouth with this wash. It helps in drying out the sores.

Baking soda rinse:

Baking soda is basic in nature. Hence it is useful in restoring the pH balance of the mouth . It can also reduce inflammation. It is used in the same way as salt water rinse.

How to use:

Take 1tsp. of baking powder and add it to 1/2 cup of water.

Rinse your mouth with this mixture. Repeat 2 or 3 times throughout the day.


Yogurt is filled with good bacteria. It contains a lot of lactobacillus bacteria . Studies have shown that people suffering with peptic ulcer which is caused by helicobacter pylori have experienced relief in their symptoms by using yogurt. If the cause of your mouth sores is due to helicobacter, yogurt is a very effective home remedy for sores.

You can have 1 cup yogurt daily.


Honey is very easily available in all parts of  the world. Apart from being sweet and tasty, it also has medicinal value. It has antibacterial and anti inflammatory activity against mouth sores. Honey helps in reducing sore pain , size and redness.  It also prevents mouth sores to reoccur.

Apply honey to the sores 4-5 times daily.

Any variety of honey can do. However , you should make sure that the honey is unpasteurized and unfiltered .

Coconut oil:

Coconut oil is very helpful to soothe the pain in mouth sores. It also has anti microbial and anti inflammatory activities. It is available easily and is natural remedy for mouth sores. Just apply coconut on the sore and you can observe that there is reduction of redness and pain overtime. Moreover, it is also very tasty.

Hydrogen peroxide:

Hydrogen peroxide is known to have anti microbial property. It cleans the sore and kills the bacteria in the mouth.

How to use:

Dilute equal parts of  3% of hydrogen peroxide  with equal parts of water. Dip a cotton swab and gently dab over the mouth sores. Repeat this 2-3 times daily.

You can also use this dilute hydrogen peroxide as mouth rinse. Do not swallow hydrogen peroxide.

Milk of Magnesia:

Milk of magnesia or magnesium hydroxide is basic in nature and neutralizes acid. Hence it is available as antacid and laxative.

In mouth sores it is effective as it balances the pH of the mouth so that canker sores are relieved.

How to use:

Apply small amount of it to canker sores and let it sit. Rinse. Repeat this process 2-3 times daily.


Chamomile tea bag can be used for mouth sores. It has been used to cure wounds. Chamomile has compounds azuline and levanomol . They serve as anti inflammatory and antiseptic. Chamomile tea bag can help relieve Canker sores. Just keep a wet chamomile tea bag on the sore for a few minutes and rinse off.

Sage mouth rinse:

Sage tea is used to treat inflammation of the mouth. IT has antibacterial and anti septic properties. It also helps to relieve pain.

You can find sage mouth wash in the pharmacy store. However if you cannot get it, you can make your own rinse.

Add 1-2 tbsp.  sage to boiling water and turn off the heat.

Keep it in water for 5 minutes .

Strain the solution and rinse your mouth with this sage mouthwash.

DGL mouth rinse:

DGL stands for deglycerrizhinated licorice. It is a herbal glycyrrhiza extract. It has anti inflammatory property. You can also get DGL as a supplement which you can make into a mouth wash.

How to use:

Mix 200mg of DGL with 1 cup of warm water. Rinse your mouth with DGL like a mouthwash.

It helps in shrinking of mouth sores. You can apply a patch of DGL on the sore and keep it for 30 mins.

Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV)

I t is a home remedy which is applicable for a number of ailments. Especially in mouth sores it helps in killing the bacteria that caused the sore. However, it is very controversial as acidic substances can further worsen the condition.

Mix ACV with water and swish in your mouth for 30 seconds. Spit it out the vinegar and rinse your mouth with water.

You can also apply it on the canker sores by dabbing it with cotton.

Zinc lozenges:

As we have discussed begore the  canker sores  can thrive in weak immune systems . Hence if you strengthen your immune system, it can get healed fast . Zinc is very efficient in treating sores as it boosts your immunity. It helps in decreasing the healing time . Zinc lozenges can be found easily in pharmacies. Treats canker sores effectively.

Vitamin B complex:

If you are deficient in vitamin B12  than there are higher chances for  you to develop mouth sores. There was a study conducted in 2017 where people were given 1000micrograms of Vitamin B12 and some were given placebo. The results showed that people who took vitamin B12 developed less mouth sores than the other group with placebo drug.

Moreover there are also other B vitamins which reduce probability of getting mouth sores. Hence if you take B complex tablets , it will cure your canker sores and prevent them from recurring.


Canker sore in mouth
Canker sore
Mouth sores
Sore in corner of mouth
Home remedies for mouth and ulcers






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Ullu Series - Dekhtey Raho: Home remedies for mouth sores and ulcers
Home remedies for mouth sores and ulcers
Ullu Series - Dekhtey Raho
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