Mouth ulcers are also known as mouth sores, Aphthous ulcers or canker sores. They are like little cuts or ulcers inside the mouth which could be present on the gums, inside of the lips, on the tongue, roof or floor of the mouth. They are typically red in color having a central white area. Mouth sores are extremely painful and they make it difficult for the sufferer to eat, talk and, in some cases, even breathe and sleep. Mouth sores may occur in children and adults. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy also tend to develop them as a side effect of the medicines. Mouth sores generally start as a mild painful swelling and may last for 4 to 7 days. They are not bacterial or viral in nature; rather they are caused due to the attack on the mucous membrane by the immune system. Aphthous ulcers are often hereditary in that; if your parents had them, then you have 90% chance of developing them. One cannot become immune to mouth ulcers since they are not caused by infections. They are also not contagious.
Here are 10 effective home remedies to get rid of mouth ulcers fast.
1. Over-the counter pain relief
Benzocaine pain relief medication is one of the best ways to get rid of mouth ulcers fast. It is available under brand names such as Anbesol or Num-Zit.
2. Use pain relieving mouth washes
Many over-the-counter pain relieving mouthwashes and rinses can help you get rid of mouth ulcers permanently. For antiseptic action, get chlorhexidine gluconate based rinses or carbamide peroxide based rinses. Avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol as they can aggravate the pain of the ulcer.
3. Get rid of mouth ulcers fast with hydrocortisone
Hydrocortisone in the form of Orabase HCA can get rid of inflammation. You could also get Amlexanox based medicines for sores and ulcers.
4. Prescription medicines
In case of severe mouth ulcers, you might want to get prescription medicines with steroids. These help you get rid of mouth ulcers in a day. Following medicines are useful but your doctor will be the best judge of when to prescribe them:
- Swish with Klax or Klack solution. Gargle with a tablespoon of the medicine for at least 5 minutes to get immediate relief from pain caused by mouth ulcers on lips or tongue.
- Carafate is an ulcer specific preparation. The liquid binds to the ulcer and forms a protective barrier.
- Oral prednisone is a steroidal medicine known to give very fast relief from mouth ulcers.
- Kenalog in oral base is a dental paste that is effective for treating mouth ulcers near the front of the mouth.
5. Keep your mouth moist
The key is to numb the pain caused by the ulcer. Try sucking on ice cubes, drinking water on the hour and chewing on sugar-free gum to help relieve pain of oral ulcers quickly.
6. Follow good oral hygiene
Clean your mouth gently after each meal and particularly at bedtime. This will help prevent new ulcers. Use a soft brush to gently brush the teeth and tongue. If the bristles hurt your mouth, soak them for a few minutes in hot water before brushing. Floss daily; this is important to prevent cavities and mouth ulcers. Gently floss between the teeth but do stay away from areas having the sores and ulcers. Use a fluoride based toothpaste.
7. Use salt water and baking soda rinse
Add ¼ tsp of sea salt and 1/8th tsp of baking soda to a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth three times with this mixture. Alternatively, use hydrogen peroxide mixture (diluted 1:1 with water) to rinse the oral cavity. Do this every day to get rid of mouth ulcers permanently.
8. Watch what you eat and drink
- Recurrent mouth ulcers may occur due to spicy food. Choose foods that are easy to swallow and chew and avoid eating very hot or hard food.
- Stay away from caffeine and alcohol as these dehydrate and make your mouth very dry aggravating ulcers and sores.
- Eat soft moist foods like cereals, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs etc.
- Take small bites and chew your food well.
- Stay away from acidic foods such as citrusy fruits, pineapples, tomatoes, pickles, chilies, colas, vinegar based sauces etc. Also stay away from eggplants, nuts and certain dried fruits or red dates as they are known to cause sores and ulcers.
- If your food is very dry, try wetting it a bit with gravies, curries, soups, stews, broths, yogurt or sauces.
- If your mouth is very sore, avoid food that is very hot or very cold. Eat foods at room temperature.
- Avoid foods containing cinnamon oil and food flavoring.
9. Herbal and natural remedies for mouth ulcers
There are many herbs and natural remedies that can get rid of mouth ulcers naturally.
- Aloe Vera– Use 1-3 tbsp of Aloe juice as a mouthwash. You can even drink the juice once a day.
- Lactobacillus tablets– Many sufferers are known to get relief by chewing on Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus tablets.
- Licorice– Mix 200mg of powdered Licorice of DGL with 200 ml of water. Use the mixture to rinse the mouth 3 times a day to get rid of canker sores.
- Chamomile tea– A strong tea made from Chamomile herb can be used for drinking and swishing around the oral cavity a couple of times a day to get rid of mouth sores fast.
- Vitamin B complex– Take vitamins B1, B2 and B6 or a daily B-complex pill to prevent mouth ulcers.
- Echinacea– Tincture of this herb (4ml mixed with a glass of water) can be used to rinse the mouth thrice a day.
- Myrrh– 2 to 4ml of myrrh tincture mixed with water can be swished around the mouth twice a day.
10. Make lifestyle changes
- Visit a dentist to deal with poor fitting dentures, crowns, veneers and bridges. Also bad fillings, braces etc could aggravate sores and ulcers. Get these fixed.
- Avoid alcoholic mouth washes.
- Stay away from SLS based toothpastes. SLS is sodium lauryl sulfate which is a surfactant used in detergents. It is responsible for the foaming action of toothpastes. Stay away from this ingredient and use natural toothpaste instead.
If your mouth ulcer is accompanied by fever, or there is significant pain that is keeping you awake at night then see your doctor immediately. We hope these 10 effective home remedies help you get rid of mouth ulcers fast.