Treating canker sores

Fact Checked

Canker sores are small and shallow lesions that develops at the base of the gums or on the soft tissues of the mouth. Generally, they are quite painful and cause difficulty in eating and talking.

Symptoms of canker sores

  • The sores are round or oval with a white or yellow center and a reddened border
  • The sores develop inside the mouth especially in the tongue, inside the cheeks or lips, base of the gums and on the soft palate.


Canker sores
A minor injury to the mouth due to overzealous brushing, dental work, accidents from sports and accidentally biting the cheek.
  • A minor injury to the mouth due to overzealous brushing, dental work, accidents from sports and accidentally biting the cheek.
  • Mouth rinse or toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Allergies to coffee, chocolate, strawberries, nut, eggs, spicy or acidic foods and cheese.
  • Infected by Helicobacter pylori which is the bacteria responsible for causing peptic ulcers.
  • Hormonal changes during menstruation
  • Emotional stress
  • Allergic reactions to a kind of bacteria found in the mouth
  • Deficieny in vitamin B12, folate, zinc and iron
  • Lastly, some conditions and diseases that can cause canker sores includes celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even HIV/AIDS


  • Brush the teeth using a soft brush and foaming-agent-free toothpaste
  • Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda and ½ cup warm water. Generally, stir well until baking soda is completely dissolved and rinse the mouth using this solution.
  • Apply a small amount of milk of magnesia on the canker sore every day.
  • Avoid eating acidic or spicy foods to prevent irritation and pain.
  • Apply ice cubes on the canker sores. Slowly dissolve ice chips over tha affected area to lessen the inflammation and pain.
  • Aloe vera is rich in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that lessens the pain and eliminate canker sores. Generally, extract the juice from the fresh aloe vera plant and apply it directly on the canker sores several times every day.
  • Baking soda has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and restores the pH balance of the mouth. Mix baking soda and a few drops of water. Mix well until it becomes a paste and apply on the affected area.


  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
  • Reduce stress by performing stress-reduction techniques such as meditation and guided imagery.
  • If wearing braces or other dental appliances, seek the help of the dentist about orthodontric waxes to cover sharp edges to prevent mouth infections.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene by regular brushing and flossing of the teeth at least once every day to prevent mouth infections.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional