How to Get Rid of Canker Sores on Tongue (and Gums)

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Canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, can cause significant pain and discomfort.

While they are not indicative of a serious health issue, they can disrupt daily activities such as eating and speaking.

In this article, we will explore various treatment options for canker sores, preventive measures to avoid them, and effective natural remedies for quick relief.

Read on to learn more about managing canker sores effectively.

How to get rid of canker sores on tongue? Discover effective treatment options and natural remedies. Learn how to relieve pain, promote healing, and prevent recurrence. Get quick relief now!

What are canker sores?

Canker sores are painful ulcers that develop in the mouth.

They typically appear as pink, gray, or yellow craters surrounded by redness and often occur in sensitive areas of the mucosa.

Common locations for canker sores include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and inner lips.

These ulcers can vary in size and may coexist in multiple areas.

Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious and usually heal on their own within one to two weeks without treatment.

Different types of canker sores

There are three primary types of canker sores:

  • Minor canker sore: This is the most common type, ranging in size from 3 to 10mm.
    It typically disappears within 10 to 14 days without leaving a scar.
  • Major canker sore: Larger and deeper than minor canker sores, these ulcers have irregular borders.
    They can measure over 10mm and may take weeks to heal, leaving a scar.
  • Herpetic canker sore: These canker sores are small in diameter, measuring 2 to 3mm, and often occur in clusters.
    An affected area may contain numerous ulcers, but they heal without leaving a scar.

Common causes of canker sores

Canker sores can be triggered by various factors, including:

  • Oral trauma
  • Hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle
  • Stress
  • Certain foods like oilseeds, chocolate, and coffee
  • Deficiencies in iron, vitamin B12, or zinc
  • Quitting smoking
  • Weakened immune system
  • Medications such as beta-blockers and anti-inflammatories
  • Chronic diseases
  • Genetic predisposition

Managing the progression of canker sores

Most canker sores heal naturally within 10 to 14 days.

However, certain actions can exacerbate the inflammation, such as consuming spicy foods, acidic drinks, or excessive vinegar in salads.

To aid the healing process, it is essential to adopt gentle oral care practices, including using a soft or medium toothbrush and avoiding toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate.

Additionally, managing stress levels and being mindful of medication side effects can contribute to faster recovery.

How to get rid of canker sores on tongue: Medical treatments

When the pain from a canker sore is severe and requires immediate relief, several medical treatments can be applied.

These treatments include:

– Corticosteroid lozenges

Effective in reducing pain and accelerating healing when used at the first sign of symptoms.

– Mouthwash with chlorhexidine 

Helps limit infection and promotes faster healing, although the pain-relieving effect may be less intense.

Note that the regular use of chlorhexidine over 4 weeks may temporarily darken teeth.

– Antiseptic gel

Provides mild numbing and pain relief.

– Paracetamol or ibuprofen

Analgesics that can be taken to alleviate severe pain.

Preventive measures for canker sores

To prevent the occurrence of canker sores, it is important to avoid actions that can cause oral mucosa injuries, such as cheek biting.

Individuals wearing ill-fitting braces or having chipped teeth should seek dental assistance.

Gentle toothbrushing with a soft or medium-bristled toothbrush and non-irritating toothpaste is recommended.

Managing stress levels and being aware of medications that may trigger canker sores can also aid in prevention.

toothbrush mouth ulcers

How to get rid of canker sores on tongue: Best Supplements

Supplements can play a role in reducing the frequency of canker sores.

Consider the following options:

 – Folic acid or vitamin b9

Frequent canker sores may be linked to a folic acid deficiency (ad).

  – Zinc

Zinc (ad) boosts the immune system and significantly reduces the recurrence of canker sores.

 – Vitamin B12

Deficiency in vitamin B12 (ad) can contribute to the frequent appearance of canker sores.

  – Vitamin C 

Helps strengthen the immune system and prevent canker sores and bleeding gums.

Liposomal vitamin C (ad) is recommended for improved absorption.

How to get rid of canker sores on tongue: Natural remedies

Several natural remedies can provide relief from canker sores, including:

  • Saltwater mouthwash

Rinse with a mixture of lukewarm water and salt four times a day for 4-5 days to promote faster healing.

  • Raw onion

The sulfur in onions can aid in healing.
Apply a slice directly to the sore or incorporate it into salads.

  • Orange juice

Rich in vitamin C, orange juice can boost the immune system.

  • Basil

Chewing fresh basil leaves twice a day can alleviate pain and accelerate healing.

  • Coconut milk

Gargling with coconut milk several times a day can provide relief, particularly when eating becomes challenging.

  • Peppermint essential oil

Apply a drop of peppermint essential oil directly to the sore for pain relief.

  • Ice cube

Applying an ice cube directly to the sore can provide temporary numbing and immediate relief.

  • Licorice root

Licorice root (ad) has interesting anti-inflammatory properties to relieve severe canker sores.

You can chew a licorice stick or better yet use a mother tincture to apply it directly and reap its benefits.

  • Aloe vera

Aloe vera helps relieve the pain of canker sores and speeds up healing.

Apply a small amount of pure aloe vera gel (ad) or drink aloe vera juice to relieve pain and speed up healing.

  • Clove essential oil

Clove essential oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and numbing properties, making it an effective remedy for canker sores.

When to consult a specialist

While canker sores usually heal within a few weeks, certain signs warrant medical attention.

Consult a specialist if:

  • The canker sore persists after three weeks.
  • Canker sores recur frequently.
  • The sore becomes increasingly painful, red, or shows signs of infection.
  • A fever accompanies the canker sore.
  • Unexplained weight loss occurs.

How to heal canker sores fast?

Canker sores can be effectively managed with appropriate treatments, preventive measures, and natural remedies.

By following the tips and suggestions outlined in this article, you can alleviate pain, accelerate healing, and reduce the recurrence of canker sores.

However, it is important to seek medical attention when necessary.

Discover the best approach that works for you and enjoy relief from canker sores.


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Natural health is paramount to me, natural remedies have always been part of my life. Whatever the problem, I make sure to find natural solutions that can often be associated with traditional medicine. Everything I write here allows me to share them with you.

The content of this article is not intended to replace medical advice or any treatment.
Keep in mind that you should contact your doctor or any qualified healthcare professional to determine if you can add a supplement to your treatment or change your diet.

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