When you have a pesky, painful canker sore, you just want it to go away. Now. Yesterday would be even better. Unfortunately, mouth ulcers, also called aphthous ulcers, typically last from a week to 10 days or so. That’s a long time to suffer, although the worst of the pain and inflammation usually subsides after the first few days. So how do you make your mouth ulcer go away fast? Here are some tips.
- Dab on some Alum Powder. This old-time remedy has been passed down from generation to generation because it seems to work. You can find alum in the spice section of the grocery store. It is a white powder used to keep pickles crisp. Wet a Q-tip then dip it in the alum; take care not to get too much. A little goes a long way. Apply it gently to your ulcer. It may burn at first but it will soon subside. Many people are hooked on this remedy and say their sores have significantly improved within 24 hours.
- A baking soda paste is another tried and true remedy to quickly make your canker sore feel better. Mix a little baking soda and water and apply it to your sore. Try not to eat or drink anything for about half an hour. The baking soda is alkaline and it will neutralize the acid in your mouth, rebalance the pH level and help dry out and heal your sore. You should find your sore much less painful by the next day.
- Licorice Patch – In clinical trials licorice root has been shown to significantly improve canker sores very quickly. The study found that about 80% of canker sore patients experienced a significant reduction in the amount of pain and inflammation in just three days. You can buy licorice patches such as Cankermelts Medicated Discs.. Place a patch over the sore and let is slowly dissolve. Repeat several times a day.
- Try Neem Oil. It comes from the neem tree, a native of Southeast Asia where it has been used for centuries for oral care and is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. Neem has been widely studied in India and has been found to possess strong anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal action. While the stuff tastes and smells awful, it can be quite effective against canker sores. You can buy neem oil at health food stores or on line. Dab a small amount directly on the sore. You should see improvement over night.
- Eat yogurt. The “good” bacteria, in yogurt, called lactobacillus acidophilus, has been known to help heal mouth ulcers and reduce the pain and inflammation. While it’s not understood exactly why or how this works, it may be that the lactobacillus acidophilus helps kill off the “bad” bacteria residing in the canker sores. The exact way this helps isn’t clear, but for many people it is quite an effective remedy. In order to be an effective treatment you’ll need to eat a cup per day until your mouth ulcer heals.
- Oral numbing agents – While they will not help heal your mouth sore, they may help lessen the pain. You can find a variety of products containing benzocaine at the drugstore.
Other things to keep in mind while battling a mouth sore:
- Don’t pick or chew at it. That will only cause more irritation and make it worse.
- Stay away from spicy food. This is not the time to eat habanero peppers or hot Kung Pao Chicken.
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages such as tomatoes, pineapple and orange juice. Spicy or acidic foods will just make your mouth burn and sting and increase the inflammation.
- Just say no to those tortilla chips and crackers and any other food with sharp edges. They are liable to poke and irritate your sore.
- Avoid toothpaste with sodium laurel sulfate (SLS). This common ingredient in toothpastes, mouthwashes, shaving cream, cleansers and many other personal care products is a detergent and it can dry out and irritate the lining of your mouth, making it more susceptible to mouth ulcers.
Try these tips and you will be surprised at how quickly you can get rid of your canker sore.