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Best Natural Ways To Get Rid Of A Canker Sore Fast

A canker sore can make it hard to eat and drink. Here's why you're getting them and how to treat them at home.

Mouth ulcer min scaled

If you’ve ever gotten a canker sore before, you know how annoying they can be. They can also be hard to get rid of.

A canker sore refers to an ulcer on the lining of the inside of your mouth. They can be painful, making chewing or swallowing food and liquids hard.

Read on to learn the difference between a canker sore and a mouth ulcer and treatment options to help you get rid of these pesky mouth sores.

What Is A Canker Sore?

An up-close image of a person with a canker sore on the inside of their lip
A canker sore usually appears on the inside of the lip or the inner cheek.

Canker sores or mouth ulcers typically appear under the tongue, on the gums or roof of the mouth, and inside the lip. They tend to measure less than a millimeter but may expand to a half-inch or an inch in diameter.

Canker sores stem from aphthous stomatitis, a condition involving the recurring formation of benign and non-contagious mouth ulcers. They may also be the result of trauma to the mouth.

What Causes Canker Sores?

Canker sores can be caused by the following: 

  • A deficiency of iron and B vitamins 
  • Consumption of acidic foods 
  • Use of braces, retainers, or ill-fitting dentures 
  • Injury on the inside of the mouth or accidental biting of the inside cheek or tongue
  • lack of sleep 
  • An allergic reaction to certain bacteria 
  • Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections 
  • Use of a harsh or abrasive toothpaste 
  • Hormonal changes during a woman’s period 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also provoke the onset of canker sores.

People diagnosed with autoimmune conditions such as AIDS, Lupus, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease are likely to develop complex canker sores.

While complex canker sores are less common than simple sores, they’re larger and more painful.

Cold sore vs. canker sore

Do note that a canker sore is different from a cold sore. The latter is contagious, while the former isn’t.

Cold sores describe fluid-filled blisters that can appear in the mouth or around the genitals. The problem transpires in people with the herpes simplex virus, which is contagious. It can spread through kissing and sharing utensils, straws, towels, and even lip balm.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) relates the development of canker sores and mouth ulcers to toxic Heat, Stomach Fire or Heat, Heart Fire or a Yin Deficiency.

Treatments For Canker Sores

A smiling young woman brushing her teeth
Brushing and flossing twice per day can help reduce the risk of canker sores.

Canker sore pain will subside in a few days without treatment. Most canker sores can also heal naturally within two weeks.

Over-the-counter and prescription products may help ease the discomfort felt by people with canker sores or mouth ulcers.

Adopting healthy habits will lower a person’s risk of these problems. Examples of these are: 

  • Avoiding acidic, salty, and spicy foods 
  • Brushing your teeth twice and flossing once daily 
  • Consuming a diet that consists of a high intake of fruits and vegetables 
  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent tissue irritation 

Topical and oral solutions 

A healthcare provider may suggest you use topical and oral products to subdue the pain and discomfort felt by mouth ulcers. These include: 

  • Antibiotics 
  • Corticosteroid ointments 
  • Medicated mouth rinses 
  • Antiseptic and anesthetic gels

Natural ways to get rid of canker sores and mouth ulcers

TCM Physician Lim Sock Ling recommends an alternative approach compromising herbal remedies and acupuncture.

Acupressure points

The activation of lian quan (CV23) and he gu (LI4) acupoints can help relieve canker sores or ulcers.

Herbal formulas and ingredients 

Herbal remedies can correct the body constitution imbalances that trigger either problem. 

“Tiao Wei Cheng Qi soup helps remove Heat and dryness in people with Stomach Fire or Heat, thus alleviating symptoms like acne, constipation, bad breath, craving for cold beverages, and gum or teeth pain. Dao Chi powder is useful for clearing Heart Fire, which causes frustration, insomnia, mouth ulcers, and redness on the tip of the tongue. Yin Qiao powder and Sang Ju powder disperses Wind-Heat and its accompanying symptoms, such as a fever, sore throat, coughs, and aversion to cold.”

TCM Physician Lim Sock Ling

Peppermint (bo he) is present in Yin Qiao and Sang Ju powder and can be consumed as a tea to relieve Wind-Heat and help with ulcers.

It can also induce a breakout of rashes to release toxins. Lopatherum (dan zhu ye) tea clears Heat, eases pent-up frustration, encourages urination, and relieves thirst.

Eugenol – the active ingredient in cloves – suppresses swelling by numbing an affected gum area. A salt water rinse or sage mouthwash possesses antiviral and antioxidant properties, which can help heal ulcers.

Research shows that Panax ginseng also contains anti-ulcer properties. You can consume ginseng in tea or capsule form to help manage mouth ulcers.

Seek Professional Help For Canker Sores

Tandem use of clinical and herbal remedies will effectively address the onset of canker sores and mouth ulcers.

It’s advisable to speak to a healthcare provider and TCM practitioner before treating the problem. It’ll ensure that you avoid unnecessary health complications.

For example, activation of he gu acupoint isn’t recommended for pregnant women. You should also refrain from using cooling herbs like peppermint and lopatherum on an empty stomach.


  1. Cleveland Clinic. Canker Sores
  2. Cleveland Clinic. Mouth Ulcer
  3. Cleveland Clinic. Cold Sores.
  4. Archives of Pharmacol Research. 2003. Ginsenoside Rb1: the anti-ulcer constituent from the head of Panax ginseng.

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Reviews (1)

leslieAug 16 2023

Traditional herbal medicines are based on the use of natural remedies
like Herbs and Roots, no special food, no lifestyle change to
permanently cure drug resistance diseases and viruses.people who use this
methods like me will definitely testify.
three years ago I was permanently cured from herpes simplex virus by Dr Okosun, an African herbalist who eradicates diseases and viruses which the world believes has no cure today with the use of herbs
Dr Okosun herbs are hundred percent natural, no after effect and is
guaranteed method of getting rid of herpes and other drug resistance diseases which the doctors made us believe has no cure, im one of the hundreds of people cured by dr okosun and you can get in touch with this Dr and get your healing just as i did via drokosun55@gmail .com
his mobile or whatsapp +2348124363791

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