What home remedies treat canker sores?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are all kinds of suggested treatments for the painful, annoying canker sores we all get, but Dr. Oz’s home remedy -- and one his wife, Lisa, swears by -- is myrrh. Mix 5 drops of myrrh oil with a few ounces of water, swish, and rinse twice a day to treat any sort of mouth irritation. Myrrh is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine with anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties that will provide instant relief.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
A study at the Department of Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine. Dental Faculty, University of Oslo, in Oslo, Norway found that canker sores, also known as recurrent aphthous ulcers, were related to the exposure to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a denaturing detergent ingredient found in the leading toothpaste brands. The recurrence of these lesions significantly decreased when alternative SLS-free dentifrices were used.

Details of that study can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8811135
There are many reasons for canker sores, some simple and some more serious. Most canker sores are brought on by stress or certain foods. If you have more than one sore or are getting them often see your dentist or physician to be evaluated for Suttons disease or Bechet's syndrome. You can try salt water rinses, mouthwash or any other over the counter or home remedies and they go away in seven to ten days. In my practice I place a drop of debactrol on the sore and within a minute the pain is gone and you can return to your normal activity. I've been told that you can obtain the same relief with a diode laser. In any case if you get one now and then try to reduce the stress in your life. If you are constantly suffering from canker sores see your dentist to rule out one of many serious systemic problems.
Canker sores usually heal on their own after a week or two. However, rinsing with salt water or hydrogen peroxide as well as over-the-counter topical anesthetics and antimicrobial mouthrinses may provide temporary relief. Stay away from hot, spicy or acidic foods that can irritate the sore. See your dentist if the sores do not heal or are painful. 
There are several ways you can treat canker sores at home. Over-the-counter products with numbing medication may help to ease the pain. Or you can make a soothing paste out of baking soda and water, and apply it to the sore. Mouth rinses with salt water, baking soda, or diluted hydrogen peroxide may also provide some relief. Placing ice on the sore also helps numb the pain temporarily, as does applying a dab of milk of magnesia to the area. Until the canker sore heals, avoid spicy foods, and brush your teeth gently to avoid irritating it.

Most canker sores go away in a week or two. Contact your doctor or dentist if yours are unusually large, painful, or aren’t healing properly.

Continue Learning about Canker Sores

Canker Sores

Canker Sores

Aphthous stomatitis is a sore that forms inside the mouth, and the most common type is a canker sore. These sores, also called mouth ulcers, are yellow-gray with red rings around them and usually heal in a week or two. Sometimes c...

anker sores are larger or occur in clusters and can take over a month to heal. Treatment is usually with an oral antiseptic and analgesic. Learn more about what affects your risk for canker sores with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.