7 Natural Ways to Cure Mouth Ulcers Faster

October 2022

Mouth ulcers, also know as canker sores, are small lesions that are painful and generally appear on the tongue or on the lips. They may have several causes but are typically related to eating very acidic foods. When an ulcer appears, the first thing you should do is stop eating eating acidic food, especially acidic fruit. This will decrease irritation and allow your mouth to heal faster. 

However, there are also foods/products that can help canker sores to heal, things that you usually have in your cupboard at home. Check-out the five ways to heal canker sores faster:

1. Black tea compress

Applying a black tea bag directly on the canker sore can help with healing, as black tea contains tannins (an astringent substance, which removes residue and dirt). To apply the black tea correctly, you need to prepare the tea by placing the tea bag in a cup of boiling water and let it soak. When the water and bag are no longer hot, place the tea bag directly on the canker sore.

Read about the different causes of canker sores so that you can prevent them in the future.

2. Salt water mouth rinse

Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water helps to disinfect the canker sore and speed-up healing. Salt has an antibacterial effect, which removes bacteria from any affected region. In order to make a salt water solution simply add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Rinse your mouth with this solution for a few minutes, twice a day.

3. Chewing on cloves

Chewing cloves can also help to heal the canker sore faster and relieve the pain in just a few minutes. This is because cloves have antiseptic and analgesic properties, which can help keep the canker sore clean, encourage healing, and relieve pain, all within minutes.

4. Gargle milk of magnesia

Gargling milk of magnesia allows the lesion to be coated and protected from bacteria, both which can help to speed-up the healing process. To prepare the solution, simply mix a teaspoon of milk of magnesia with a cup of water and gargle.

5. Eat natural yogurt

Eating a serving of yogurt with bifidus or probiotics will help to improve your bowels and your gastrointestinal flora. This can strengthen your body’s natural defenses and help to heal mouth ulcers faster. 

6. Apple cider vinegar

Some scientific studies show that apple cider vinegar contains antimicrobial properties that can decrease the growth of bacteria. Although certain microorganisms are naturally found in our bodies, like Candida albicansEscherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, these can overgrow and cause infections. The presence of these bacteria in a mouth ulcer can interfere with healing and may even worsen symptoms. You can dilute a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water and gargle over the wound to treat a mouth ulcer and prevent worsening. However, it is important to rinse with regular water and brush your teeth about 30 minutes after using this solution to prevent tooth decay, as apple cider vinegar is acidic and can cause enamel breakdown over time. 

7. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is though to contain antimicrobial and antifungal properties, as it contains fatty acids like lauric acid and capric acids. These fatty acids can interfere with the formation of bacterial and fungal cell membranes, which decreases their reproduction and growth. You can apply coconut oil directly to a mouth ulcer to both soothe discomfort and prevent further worsening. 

Does applying baking soda help with mouth ulcers?

Applying baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) directly on the canker sore can cause intense pain and burning in the area, so this is not recommended. However, baking soda can be of benefit if gargled, because it increases the pH of the saliva, which promotes healing. So instead of applying it directly on the canker sore, dilute one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, gargle and rinse your mouth, 2 to 3 times per day.

Additionally, it is important to avoid mouthwash that has alcohol because this will also cause intense pain, and will irritate the oral mucosa even more. Spicy foods are also not recommended when you have canker sores. Try the five home remedies above to heal your canker sores quickly!

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Edited by Tua Saude editing team in October 2022. Clinical review completed by Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse in October 2022.


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Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.