The other day I woke up to discomfort and pain whenever my tongue touched teeth. I stuck my tongue out at myself in a mirror and, sure enough, there was a tiny canker sore, no bigger than a quinoa seed. I ate breakfast, brushed my teeth, and went about my day trying to avoid rubbing it against anything. I failed over and over again, each time sending searing pain through my mouth. By dinner, it had doubled in size. That’s when I broke out the coconut oil.
Canker sores are small mouth ulcers that form on the inside of your cheeks, lips, or underside of your tongue. I have two places that they like to show up: the tip of my tongue and the upper outside of my lips right over my canines. Either place they choose to appear, they are excruciating and insist that my nice smooth teeth are actually more like fiery sandpaper. These painful and obnoxious little sores aren’t contagious like cold sores, but they heal just as slowly. Luckily, coconut oil works on both to change all of that.
I put a spoonful of solid oil in my mouth, let it melt over the sore, and swish it around my mouth for several seconds before swallowing. Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. It reduces the swelling that causes these sores to rub against teeth more often, and it soothes the pain. Coconut oil happens to also be antibacterial and antiviral, helping to heal those canker sores faster. I did this several times a day and two days later my sore was gone.
Other Natural Ways to Cure Your Canker Sores
Match Head – This is one of the most effective cures I’ve used in the past. Light it, blow it out, let it cool, and then hold the charred head to your canker sore. Don’t forget the “let it cool” part. It will still sting, but that’s the sulfur compounds going to work killing bacteria.
Aloe – Swish the juice of an aloe leaf around your mouth several times per day to ease the pain and speed healing.
Eat Better – Diet definitely affects how often these show up. I usually get them when I’ve been neglecting what I know I should eat and going for the simple sugars too much. They may also be linked to food allergies.
Relax – Canker sores are also tied to stress and anxiety. You are more likely to get them when you are under some form of stress. Take some deep breaths, pick up meditation, do some yoga, or find some way to relieve that stress or your canker sore will keep growing and heal slower.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Mix with water and rinse like you would mouthwash. Apple cider vinegar will kill bacteria and encourage healing.
Tea Tree Oil – You don’t want to ingest this, but you can take a Q-tip and rub a small amount directly on the canker sore. Tea tree oil will immediately numb the pain and help kill any bacteria that might be in and around the sore.
Baking Soda – Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the sore several times a day. Baking soda neutralizes acids that can cause irritation and pain while also deterring bacterial growth.
Onion – Apply raw onion to the sore. Like the match, onion contains sulfur compounds that kill bacteria and start the healing process.