Canker sores last a long time.

“Canker sores can be found inside your mouth or on your gums. They can be painful and make it difficult to talk, but they don’t cause lasting damage. Canker sores heal on their own.”

Home remedies and OTC products can speed up the healing process, but they are not a magic cure. It is unlikely that any remedy will cure a canker sore overnight.

Caution is advised when using remedies for canker sores. If you have questions, you can call your doctor.

A regular mouthwash containing chlorhexidine can help prevent germs from spreading and worsening the canker sore. It can also help avoid further inflammation. However, you’ll want to avoid a mouthwash that contains alcohol because it can irritate the sore.

There is an OTC mouthwash that has a mixture of lidocaine that can help alleviate canker sore pain. A doctor may prescribe a prescription for a drug.

You can buy canker sores treatments over the counter. Gel or cream containing lidocaine can help with pain and inflammation.

A steroid can be purchased. This type of product can help with pain.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that contain diclofenac are another helpful anti-inflammatory option for pain relief.

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be careful. If you want to know if these options are safe, you should talk to a doctor.

Home remedies can be used to address canker sores.

There are 16 homemade remedies to consider.

1. Alum There is a powder.

Alum There is a powder. is made from potassium aluminum sulfate. It’s often used to preserve food and to pickle vegetables. Alum has astringent properties that may help shrink tissues and dry out canker sores.

To use:

  1. A small amount of alum There is a powder. and water can be used to make a paste.
  2. The paste should be put onto the canker sore.
  3. Leave for a while.
  4. You should rinse your mouth.
  5. You should repeat daily until your canker sore is gone.

2. Saltwater rinse

Rinsing your mouth with salt water is a go-to home remedy, although a painful one, for mouth sores of any kind. It may help dry out canker sores.

To use:

  1. Dissolve 1 salt cube in a cup of water.
  2. For 15 to 30 seconds, swirl this solution in your mouth.
  3. As needed, repeat every few hours.

3. Baking soda rinse

Baking soda is thought to restore pH balance and reduce inflammation, which may help heal canker sores.

To use:

  1. Baking soda should be dissolved in 1/2 cup of water.
  2. For 15 to 30 seconds, swirl this solution in your mouth.
  3. As needed, repeat every few hours.

Baking soda is salty so try to avoid swallowing it.

4. Yogurt

The exact cause of canker sores is unknown. Some may be caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

A 2020 study done on mice showed that live probiotic cultures, such as Lactobacillus, may help eradicate H. pylori. In theory, if either of those conditions caused your canker sores, eating yogurt that contains live probiotic cultures may help. More research on humans is needed.

To help prevent or treat a canker sore, eat at least 1 cup of yogurt each day.

5. Honey

Honey is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities. According to a 2014 study, honey is effective in reducing canker sore pain, size, and redness. It also may help prevent secondary infection.

Apply honey to the sore four times a day.

All honey isn’t created equal. Most honey found at a grocery store is pasteurized at high heat, which destroys most nutrients. Unpasteurized, unfiltered honey, like Manuka honey, is less processed and retains its healing properties.

6. Coconut oil

Research has shown that coconut oil has antimicrobial properties due to its high amount of lauric acid. It may help treat canker sores caused by bacteria and prevent them from spreading. Coconut oil is also a natural anti-inflammatory and may help reduce redness and pain. It tastes great too!

Apply coconut oil to the sore. Reapply several times a day until you are free of the canker sore.

7. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide promotes the healing of a canker sore by cleaning the sore and reducing bacteria in your mouth.

To use:

  1. A 3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide is enough to make a cup of water.
  2. A cotton ball or cotton swab is needed.
  3. You can apply the mixture to your canker sore a few times daily.

You can use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse. You should rinse your mouth for a few seconds and then spit it out.

8. Milk of magnesia

Milk of magnesia contains magnesium hydroxide. It’s an acid neutralizer and a laxative. When used orally, it may change the pH in your mouth so the sore cannot thrive. It also coats the sore to help prevent irritation and relieve pain.

To use:

  1. Milk of magnesia can be applied to the canker sore.
  2. Allow it to sit for a while, then rinse.
  3. You can repeat it three times a day.

9. Chamomile compress

Chamomile is used as a natural remedy to heal wounds and ease pain. German chamomile contains two compounds with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic abilities: azulene and levomenol. A chamomile tea bag can serve as a compress to soothe canker sores.

“Leave the tea bag on for a few minutes to cure the canker sore. Before applying the tea bag, make sure it isn’t too hot. You can drink freshly brewed chamomile tea. The treatment should be repeated three to four times daily.”

10. Echinacea

Echinacea’s wound-healing and immune-boosting properties may help heal canker sores or prevent them from forming.

To use:

  1. Add 1 ton of echinacea to warm water.
  2. For about 2 minutes, you should swish the solution around your mouth.
  3. Either spit out or swallow it.

Echinacea tea may be beneficial. Either treatment can be repeated up to three times daily.

11. Sage

Sage tea has traditionally been used to remedy mouth inflammation. Sage mouthwash works as a general mouth rinse for many oral problems. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and astringent properties. It may also help relieve pain.

You can find it in most of the pharmacies. You can make your own rinse.

  1. Add boiling water to fresh leaves.
  2. For at least 5 minutes, drink it.
  3. Let the solution cool off.
  4. You can rinse your mouth for a few minutes.
  5. Either swallow or spit it out.

12. DGL mouthwash

DGL mouthwash is made from deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), an herbal licorice extract. It’s thought to have anti-inflammatory abilities and is considered a natural remedy for stomach ulcers. DGL is available in supplement form, which you can use to make a mouthwash.

To use:

  1. The DGL capsule should be mixed with 1 cup of warm water.
  2. For about 3 minutes, you should swish the solution around your mouth.
  3. Spit it out.

DGL can be used as a mouth patch to shrink canker sores. You apply the patch to the sore and leave it there for 30 minutes. If you think the patch is a good option for you, you should talk to a doctor or dentist.

13. Apple cider vinegar mouthwash

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is touted as a cure for almost everything, including canker sores. It’s thought that the acid in ACV helps kill bacteria that irritate the sore. The treatment is controversial, however, because acidic foods can cause or worsen canker sores in some people. Use it with caution.

To use:

  1. Combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of ACV.
  2. For 30 seconds to 1 minute, wish this mixture around your mouth.
  3. You should rinse your mouth thoroughly after spitting it out.
  4. Every day, repeat.

Many websites suggest applying a remedy to the canker sore. This approach may speed up healing time in some people, but it could cause more pain and irritation for others.

It is important to rinse your mouth after using a product that has a harmful effect on tooth enamel.

14. Zinc lozenges

If your immune system is weak, canker sores may thrive. Zinc is a mineral that boosts your immunity. Taking zinc lozenges may help your immune system fight off bacteria that cause canker sores. It may also speed up healing time if you have a sore.

Zinc lozenges are available online and at most pharmacies. They may contain other ingredients. You usually put it in your mouth. You should check the directions to see how often you should do it.

15. Vitamin B complex supplement

You may get canker sores more often if your diet is low in vitamin B12. It’s unclear exactly how vitamin B12 heals canker sores, however.

According to a 2009 study, participants taking 1,000 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily had fewer canker sore outbreaks, fewer sores overall, and less pain than those taking a placebo.

Other B vitamins may also help. A vitamin B complex supplement contains all eight B vitamins, including B12. Vitamin B complex supplements may cause side effects, so consult with a doctor before use.

16. Watermelon frost

Watermelon frost has been considered an effective remedy for canker sores in traditional Chinese medicine. Studies have shown its effectiveness in treating canker sores.

It is sold as a:

  • There is a powder.
  • There is a tablet.
  • spray

It can be applied to the sore for quicker healing.

You can buy watermelon frost from an Asian herb store or make your own.

Most canker sores are not a cause for concern. They rarely leave behind long-term effects. Some canker sores justify a visit to the doctor.

If you have any of the following, talk to a doctor.

  • The sore is larger than a few centimeters.
  • You have many sores.
  • Old sores heal before new ones.
  • “The sore doesn’t heal in 2 weeks.”
  • The sore is spreading to your lips.
  • The sore causes pain.
  • The sore makes it hard to eat or drink.
  • You have a cold.

If your canker sore is caused by a jagged or sharp tooth, you should contact a doctor or dentist.