Have you ever had a spot inside your mouth, perhaps on the inside of your cheek or tongue, that was painful and white? Most likely, this was a canker sore. Getting rid of canker sores quickly and naturally can be difficult for some people. Here are some easy to apply solutions that anyone can benefit from to help get rid of canker sores quickly.
Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers, are small, shallow sores on the inside of the mouth, most commonly on the inner cheek, tongue surface and even gum tissue. They are painful, white open sores that have a reddish, inflamed ring around the sensitive, white inner surface.
To understand how to quickly get rid of canker sores naturally, it’s helpful if we briefly discuss what causes canker sores so we can avoid the circumstances that provoke their creation.
Western medicine really doesn’t know what is the ‘cause’ of canker sores. However, several triggers have been identified that increase the risk of getting a canker sore.
Main Triggers for Canker Sores
Trauma to cheek from biting cheek, braces, or ill fitting dentures
Gut malabsorption issues
Poor oral hygiene
So, as you can see, canker sores show up when the body is under some form of stress, whether that’s psychological, nutritional, or trauma to the tissue.
What can we do to get rid of canker sores quickly?
Navigating the path to optimal oral health often involves applying strategies ‘in the mouth’ as well as ‘whole body immune support’. Getting rid of canker sores quickly and easily is no different. Below you’ll find several strategies to apply both ‘in the mouth’ as well as ‘system wide’ to help you along this path. We have included simpler steps anyone can take first. If you want to take a ‘deeper dive’ on this subject (or have some serious pain from recurring canker sores to motivate you) you may want to try some of the later ideas as well.
1. Keep your mouth clean.
Health giving oral hygiene is about keeping the mouth clean, not sterile. We encourage the use of oral hygiene products and strategies that help reduce the risk of ‘bad bugs’ colonizing in the mouth. These bad bugs encourage an acidic pH in the mouth which slows the healing of canker sores.
Using products that only have ingredients designed to help support, heal and soothe and learning how to brush your teeth, floss consciously and clean your tongue are all excellent strategies to support optimal oral health.
Another ancient strategy that helps maintain a clean mouth while encouraging a balanced oral pH is oil pulling. In fact, we dedicated an article titled, ‘How oil pulling helps improve oral health and whole body wellness’ to this oral hygiene strategy that has stood the test of time.
2. Eat consciously.
If you have a particular place where you semi regularly chomp your cheek (which can easily become a canker sore after), be sure you increase your awareness while chewing. Eating while reading or while watching TV are sure ways to increase your risk of chomping on your cheek (or tongue OUCH). Once the tissue is traumatized by a chomp, the risk of canker sore in that area goes up substantially.
3. Reduce acidic foods.
Speaking of eating foods, reducing acidic foods can help the mouth pH balance to encourage healing of the canker sore. I personally have to be really conscious when a plate of ripe pineapple is in the house as I’ve found if I eat more than a few chunks, my risk of canker sore goes way up. Just last night after enjoying a few pieces I immediately rinsed my mouth out with a drop of our OraWellness Healthy Mouth Blend which really helped to restore balance to my oral pH.
If you like to consume naturally acidic foods for their alkalinizing benefit to the system, perhaps check out an article we wrote about how to drink kombucha and not destroy your teeth. This article shares a simple strategy how to gain the benefit of these naturally occurring acidic foods (like lemon water or apple cider vinegar) without provoking more acidity in the mouth.
4. Support the stressed tissue.
To help reduce the pain of a canker sore and to support the tissue to heal more quickly, I put a drop of our Healthy Mouth Blend on my finger and gently rub the canker sore. The Healthy Mouth Blend helps to soothe stressed nerves and reduce pain while encouraging a healing pH at the site of the wound.
If you still find that canker sores are a frequent pain for you, the following more fundamental (and challenging) ideas will definitely help get you on the mend…
5. Cut your sugar intake WAY back
Sugar consumption provokes nutritional deficiency, raises stress by increasing blood sugar fluctuation, causes the mouth pH to be acidic, and directly undermines our body’s ability to heal itself. This is particularly so for sweet ‘snacks’ between meals that spike our blood sugar and makes us more nutritionally deficient by suppressing our hunger sensations for real nourishment. If you have to just pick one action, cut the sweets.
6. Eliminate wheat and other gluten-containing foods from your diet.
Recent research has found a very interesting correlation between a person getting semi-regular canker sores and IBD (irritable bowel disorder) and celiac disease. Consider what a canker sore really is, an ulcer in the mouth (the start of the digestive tract). Taking a broad view, it make sense that if you are sensitive to gluten (as is the case for people with either IBD or celiac) the mouth is really showing you what’s happening ‘downstream’ in the small intestine.
If you get canker sores fairly regularly, take note of what triggers seem to provoke your system to stress out. By keeping an eye on what foods or other stimuli might have caused the imbalance, you can avoid the painful canker sore from erupting again.
What about you? Have you noticed any particular foods or habits that seem to increase your risk of getting a canker sore?
Helpful, related content:
What Foods Undermine Our Oral Health and Why [article]
How to Brush Your Teeth to Reduce Gum Disease [article]
The First Step in Dental Self Empowerment [article]
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath [article]
How oil pulling helps improve oral health and whole body wellness [article]
OraWellness Healthy Mouth Blend [product solution]