Are you prone to canker sores? Rejoice, friends – we’ve got some natural solutions for preventing and healing these pesky, painful little things.
What are canker sores?
Canker sores are small surface abrasions found on the inside of the mouth that can occur several times a year. They come and go within a week or so, on average. Canker sores can be brought on by fatigue, stress, fever, menstrual cycles, nutritional deficiencies and sensitivity to certain foods.
They can be as small as a BB, or as large as a quarter, but they usually feature a white, fleshy, sensitive center surrounded by a light red border. In almost all cases, they hurt (or at the very least, are extremely uncomfortable!)
Rid yourself of canker sores the natural way
For anyone who’s familiar with them, you know that once you get a canker sore, the only thing you can do is wait for it to disappear. In the meantime, try these little tricks and tips for minimizing the pain and the chances of a canker coming back*!
A well-balanced, nutritious diet and lifestyle is vital. Canker sore are just another reason not to smoke or chew tobacco. Researchers have found that reducing stress can speed up the healing time drastically – so get to the gym, do some yoga, and take it easy when a canker is present. There’s also evidence that refined sugar, processed foods and in particular citrus fruits can contribute trigger canker sores.
Get more Vitamin B12. Doctors have suggested that another canker sore trigger is vitamin B12 deficiency. Prominent B12 donor foods include clams, salmon, tuna, and other seafood. Breakfast cereals (remember to avoid high sugar!), cheese, and dairy products also contain B12, but not as much as fish. You can always bulk up on B12 through supplements.
Watch what you put in there! Studies by researchers have produced a growing list of things to avoid putting in your mouth to induce or exasperate canker sores. First, avoid eating spicy foods, if you can stand to. Also, try to avoid (or lesson) the amount of iron intake you’re feeding yourself – unless of course it’s been prescribed by your doctor. Do eat more salads, onions, and fresh or raw vegetables, and don’t use toothpaste that contain an ingredient called “sodium lauryl sulfate” – a common sulfide.
Now, how about some remedies? According to researcher Dr. James Bach, author of Prescription for Natural Healing, you can speed up the healing time for canker sores drastically by applying these natural oils directly to the surface of the sore:
- Tea tree oil
- Menthol or clove bud oil
- other topical painkillers that contain ingredients like goldenseal, licorice, myrrh, or lysine
These topical remedies are backed by scientific research, Bach says, and can be found at your local CVS. Apply these oils twice a day to the sore – about every 12 hours, but at the very least, before you go to bed.
Oh, and one more tip to help relieve the pain of canker sores the natural way. Swish your mouth warm salt water regularly – you’ll immediately feel relief and speed up the healing time significantly.
*Doctors, researchers and the medical professionals alike know only one thing about what causes canker sores – that nobody has figured out what causes canker sores. Unfortunately, they’re here to stay, but that doesn’t mean you can’t heal them the natural way!