Canker Sores: Causes and Top Home Remedies for Canker Sores

What is Canker Sore?

Canker sore may develop anywhere inside the mouth, such as gums, tongue, lips and even cheeks. Usually, they are small, less than a centimetre and have a red border. Their shape varies from being round to oval.

Canker Sore

Canker Sore

Many times Canker sores are confused with fever blisters or cold sores. Thus, it is very important to understand the difference between them to make a proper diagnosis. The commonest site for the breakout of cold sores is lips, but canker sores break out inside the mouth. Also, a cold sore is caused due to the herpes virus and are contagious. But canker sores are not at all contagious, nor they are caused due to the herpes virus.

What Causes Canker Sores

The exact cause of canker sores is unknown. But, it is believed that there are certain factors that are responsible for its outbreaks such as oral injury, certain medications low immunity, hormonal changes, too much stress, food allergies, excessive smoking, hereditary factors, anaemia, viral infections, use of wrong oral care products.
Thea incidence of canker sores is more in females, people of high socioeconomic status, smokers, and whites. Also, its incidence is at peak during adulthood and adolescence. But as we age its incidence becomes less frequent.
If you experience tingling or burning at any site in the mouth be alert. This may be the first sign of the canker sore. This is followed by 1 or more sensitive bump that soon develops into an open ulcer having a yellow or white center with a red or grey ring surrounding it.
Canker sores usually disappear on its own in a few weeks to 10 days even without any treatment. But, the pain and discomfort caused due to it will compel you to look for home remedies for canker sores.
Below are ten home remedies for canker sores. The best part is that these natural home remedies are safe, effective, under your budget and easy to use.

Top 10 Home Remedies for Canker Sores


The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey is not a hidden fact. But do you know that honey also provides a soothing effect?



Apply it to the canker sores, and you will find relief in pain and inflammation. Repeat this several times in a day till the canker sore heals. You may also make a paste by adding one-fourth teaspoon of turmeric powder to a teaspoon of honey and apply it to the affected area. Leave this paste for a few minutes and then rinse off your mouth with warm water.

2. Chamomile tea bag for canker sores-

Chamomile tea has several health benefits. Especially it is used to treat insomnia, indigestion and promote relaxation. Also, due to the presence of a compound bisabolol chamomile tea is very effective in reducing inflammation and pain.

Chamomile tea bags

Chamomile tea bags

Steep a bag of chamomile tea in a cup of steaming water for a minute. Keep it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Now apply this tea bag on the canker sores for 10 minutes. Repeat this two times in a day to promote healing.

3. Salt-

By drawing fluid from the canker sores salt is very helpful. This speeds up the healing process.
Take a teaspoon of salt. Mix it in a cup of warm water. Rinse your mouth with it for about 10 minutes. Repeat this several times in a day until you find relief.

Salt Mouth Washes

Salt Mouth Washes

4. Coconut oil for canker sores-

Coconut oil has always been the first choice in the treatment of any inflammatory conditions. It is also an antimicrobial agent. It possesses an incredible taste. Just clean your hands and dab a finger with coconut oil. Now apply coconut oil on the sores. Repeat this several times in a day.

5. Sage-

Sage is a herb that has been found very effective for canker sores treatment. The calming and soothing properties possessed by sage provide immediate relief from inflammation and pain.



Take three teaspoons of sage leaves. Add it to a cup of steaming water. Wait for 15 minutes.

When this solution cools, strain it and rinse your mouth with it. Do this three times in a day.

6. Aloe Vera-

The Aloe Vera gel has magical properties and is very effective in any burning.

Extract fresh Aloe Vera gel. Apply it to the canker sores daily.

7. Wheat grass juice-

Rich in nutrients, wheat grass juice, has anti-bacterial properties and also promotes healing. Rinse your mouth with wheat grass juice daily for several times in a day.

Wheatgrass juice

Wheatgrass juice

8. Cayenne pepper-

You must be surprised, but yes, cayenne pepper is very commonly used for canker sores. Capsaicin present in the cayenne pepper causes temporary numbness of the nerves. This produces temporary relief of pain and inflammation.
Take one-fourth teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix it with sufficient quantity of water to make a paste. Apply this paste to canker sores.
This may irritate in the beginning, but soon you will find relief from pain and inflammation.

9. Coriander-

Again coriander is a traditional home remedy for canker sores. Being anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiseptic it helps to speed the healing and also eases pain and discomfort.
Take a tablespoon of coriander leaves

Coriander seeds

Coriander seeds

Steep it in a glass of water. Let the solution cool. Strain it and rinse your mouth with it. Repeat this several times in a day. You may also use coriander seeds in the same way.

10. Eat yoghurt-

Yogurt is a fermented milk product. It contains healthy bacteria that promote digestion. Also, eating plain yoghurt restores the healthy gut bacterias. By balancing the bacterias in the mouth, it also helps in treating canker sores.
Canker sores are not a serious disease, and the above natural home remedies for canker sores are enough to treat them. But in the case, you suffer from their recurrent occurrence do consult your doctor as this may be a symptom of some underlying health issue that needs proper treatment.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.