Do you have a nagging, unsightly sore on the inside of your mouth that’s making it difficult to enjoy your food or even talk? If so, check out these home remedies for canker sores and sore throat.
Have you ever had an aphthous ulcer? There’s a good chance you’ve have had at least one. You may even have one right now.
Despite it’s strange-sounding name, the condition is quite common. In fact, there are over 3 million cases per year of aphthous ulcers, aka canker sores.
The term “aphthae” is derived from the Greek word aphthi, which means “to set on fire” or “to inflame.” And if you’re experiencing a mouth ulcer right now, no doubt you can relate to this apt description.
(The description most likely comes from the ancient Greek philosopher, Hippocrates.) [SOURCE]
The good news is, if you have one, or if your throat is bothering you, there are home remedies for canker sores and sore throat; you don’t need to go to the doctor to cure it.
Nonetheless, internal mouth sores are very annoying. And painful. It’s hard to enjoy a meal let alone have a conversation with a festering wound on the inside of your mouth.
What causes them?
The ‘Ask Well’ blog on the New York Times website, says medical experts are not sure what causes these annoying ulcers on the inside of the mouth.
(They can also appear on the tongue; they are not the same as cold sores or fever blisters, which appear on the lips.)
However, there are some theories. According to Ask Well, they are more common in people with underlying medical conditions.
And most often, these conditions produce inflammation or weaken the immune system.
Moreover, Ask Well says other canker culprits are viruses, bacterial infections, food allergies, poor nutrition, and stress. Poor nutrition and food allergies are forms of stress.
But if the type of “stress” the Ask Well author is referring to is characteristic of overwork; lack of sleep; financial burden; and spousal conflict, it’s likely that these types of stress are the main causes of canker sores.
Natural canker sore relief
The good news is they aren’t contagious. Most often, healing occurs within a couple weeks. However, enduring up to a week and a half or so of pain seems like an eternity.
Although the pain normally goes away quickly, more serious cases take a month or longer to heal.
If you have one, keep things in perspective. Having one is annoying. But if it’s your worst problem, life’s not too bad.
If you let the sore put you in a bad mood, it’s kind of a #firstworldproblem … the Syrian and Rohingya refugees probably can’t feel your pain (no pun intended).
Nonetheless, life is indeed more pleasant without painful wounds in your mouth. In light of this, there are some home remedies for canker sores and sore throat.
Why are canker sores and sore throat lumped together? For two reasons.
First or all, many of the same natural remedies for canker sores can be applied to sore throats. In addition, according to WebMD, there are over 30 conditions associated with both conditions.
But without further ado, here are some things you can do at home to get rid of either….
According to this holistic dentist (and lots of other natural health experts), the best remedy is gargling with salt water. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt in half a cup of warm water. Swish around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Spit, and then rinse your mouth with fresh water.
For more home remedies for canker sores and sore throat, see the end of this post….
Chronic canker sores
According to this scientific journal, chronic sores occur in 20-60% of all persons.
If you want to know the scientific explanation, here it is:
“The lesion occurs because of increased viscosity of oral submucosal extracellular matrix.”
Does that explanation make you feel better? Probably not.
However, the article does present some interesting theories that offer more of a precise explanation than the Ask Well blog post from above.
For instance, the hypothesis is that sex hormones are to blame. Why?
Because they concentrate in the thin skin that covers the inside surface of the cheek.
The article says that ulcers usually begin in the second decade of life and peak in the third decade. This is perhaps associated with peak sex hormone levels in life.
These ulcerous lesions are similar to acute inflammation in the skin. So, perhaps, in essence, canker sores are sort of like teenage acne slightly beyond the teenage years?
Corticosteroid medications such as Prednisone may offer relief for chronic canker sore sufferers: Furthermore, a prescription for the topical solution, silver nitrate, may stop the growth and pain of lesions.
Interestingly, the research journal offers one of the most simple home remedies for canker sores and sore throat: avoid gluten.
That’s because certain foods can trigger mouth ulcers. If you’re in the least bit sensitive to gluten, the inflammation from wheat protein may cause inflammation. And this inflammation can manifest in the mouth as an ulcer.
(Without doubt, if you have Celiac Disease, the thin lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed as a result of ingesting gluten. Thus, it’s quite possible that gluten can also impact and inflame the thin lining of the inside of your mouth.)
Home remedy for canker sores in your mouth
Internal mouth lesions are often caused by a weak digestive system, such as leaky gut.
Leaky gut is not a proper medical diagnosis. However, natural health experts believe it is indeed a common condition that causes internal inflammation.
The condition is characterized by poor absorption of nutrients. Thus, if you suffer from cold sores, one of the best things you can do is eat foods that help repair your gut lining.
Many natural health advocates and nutritionists believe bone broth can repair the gut lining.
In addition, hormonal imbalances may be to blame for lesions. If you have the budget, seeing a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic doctor can help determine the underlying causes which are causing frequent, painful sores.
Moreover, check the ingredients in your toothpaste. According to this study, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a common ingredient in toothpaste, can make outbreaks worse. SLS, a synthetic detergent, according to the study, may actually be the cause of them.
The reason why is that researchers believe SLS denatures the oral mucin layer. Consequently, it exposes the underlying the thin tissue of the outer layer of the mouth.
Perhaps the most interesting home remedies for canker sores and sore throat comes from this study. But it’s not one you should not use: smoking cigarettes.
In fact, there are several studies that report a protective effect of smoking on mouth ulcers.
If you’re thinking about taking up the habit, keep in mind, you’ll have to smoke a lot:
“Smoking is only protective with high enough levels of consumption to result in very high nicotine concentrations that form a protective layer of keratin over the oral mucosa.”
Home remedies for canker sores and sore throat: Vitamin C
A healthier alternative therapy is taking vitamin C. A recent study concludes 2000 mg twice a day per day of ascorbic acid leads to a 50 percent reduction in oral ulcer outbreaks. Vitamin C can also significantly reduce the pain, says the study. [SOURCE]
Dr. Steven Lin, the holistic dentist referenced above, suggests placing a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds into a cup of cold water. Swish around your mouth.
Another remedy Dr. Lin suggests is soaking basil leaves in hot water and using it as a mouthwash.
The same instructions apply with baking soda; just mix one teaspoon of it in with warm water (a half cup will do) and rinse. Make sure to rinse with fresh water after swishing with baking soda.
Home remedies for canker sores and sore throat: more options
In addition, other popular, folksy at-home ingredients that may help include coconut oil; hydrogen peroxide; and herbal licorice extract. ‘
Healthline.com also recommends the Chinese medicine herbal remedy, watermelon frost.
Do you have any other recommendations for treating canker sores and sore throat naturally? Comment below….