Mouth ulcers are a common type of injury that develops in the mouth, and will usually affect everyone at least severally in their lifetime. These sores are painful, but they usually heal on their own which is what makes the condition easy to manage. The sores often develop as a whitish region bordered by a red inflamed ring. These ulcers are common on the inside part of the cheek, but will also occur on the lips, tongue and the bottom part of the mouth.
There are a number of factors that predispose one to the development of mouth ulcers. These range from allergic reactions, to hormonal changes, stress, nutrients deficiency as well as the most common cause, accidentally biting one’s cheek(s). Sometimes ill-fitting dentures also cause mouth ulcers, as do improper teeth fillings. As mentioned above, mouth ulcers are often not fatal, and will heal in about a week or so.
It is important, however, to mention that in some cases, these sores take a very long period to heal – sometimes up to 3 weeks. In this event, it is important to get medical attention in order to get to the root cause of the condition. Major ulcers are of concern because they are usually deep, and span more than 1 cm in diameter. Another type of mouth ulcer is known as herpetiform, and this usually manifests as a group of small ulcers that are scattered in the oral cavity.
Other cases where it is important to see a dentist include recurrent mouth ulcers and if the sores get inflamed as this could be indicative of an infection. There are a number of home remedies available for the natural treatment of mouth ulcers. These remedies typically manage the pain and discomfort caused by the sores. The remedies also make it easy to eat, drink and chew food while reducing the swelling. Listed below are some ideal options for the natural treatment of mouth ulcers.
1. Sea Salt + Hydrogen Peroxide:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1 glass of warm water.
Salt has long been used as a natural remedy for a number of ailments. It is loved for its anti-septic properties that help prevent infections from developing in the ulcers. Hydrogen peroxide on the other hand, is added to this remedy because it acts as a disinfectant that helps clean out the sores. Either remedy may be used, but for an effective and potent remedy, a combination of the two is recommended. Note that when using hydrogen peroxide, always make sure that it is clearly marked 3%, and is diluted prior to using it as indicated in the simple directions below. Hydrogen peroxide that is marked otherwise may cause further injury to the tissue.
- Mix the salt and hydrogen peroxide well before adding the warm water for dilution purposes.
- Stir the mixture well before taking a sip.
- Use the remedy as mouth rinse and swish it in the mouth for a few minutes.
- Spit the mixture and repeat three more times. Note that this remedy must NOT be swallowed as it will easily cause discomfort.
- Use this remedy at least thrice daily until the sores clear and are completely healed.
2. Baking Soda:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of baking soda, some warm water and cotton wool (optional).
Baking soda is a common kitchen ingredient that you can easily convert and use to treat mouth ulcers. Sometimes referred to as sodium bicarbonate, this remedy is especially effective in cases where the sores are caused by too much indulgence in acidic foods. The basic principle here is that the baking soda helps to neutralize the excess acidity in the mouth. Additionally, the remedy’s healing properties help reduce the pain and inflammation around the sores, effectively preventing bacterial infections from developing. Note, however, that the baking soda does cause a stinging sensation immediately after application, but this soon dissipates to give way to the remedy’s healing properties.
- Prepare a paste by simply adding a few drops of water to the baking soda and mixing well. The thickness of the paste varies depending on your needs, but a thick paste is recommended because it is easy to use and apply.
- You may use cotton wool or the tip of a clean finger to apply the paste on the mouth sores.
- Leave the paste on for a few minutes before rinsing.
- Alternatively, just apply the baking soda on the mouth sore directly.
- You will experience a burning sensation of sorts, but this should ease over a period of time.
3. Licorice Root:
Time Required: 2 Hr
What You Need: Licorice root, pestle and mortar, 2 cups of water and honey (optional).
Licorice root is a unique home remedy for the natural treatment of mouth ulcers as far as pertains to its mode of action. The root, when soaked in water and the water used as mouth rinse, works by forming a protective coat that soothes the open sores. Its healing properties as a demulcent make it ideal for the management of mouth ulcers. Other additional benefits include antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that work to reduce the discomfort and ease the pain of the mouth ulcers. In the absence of licorice root, you may take DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorce) a form of the root’s extract that is chewable for easy remedy use.
- Place the licorice root in the mortar and crush using the pestle until you have a coarse mass of the remedy.
- Soak the crushed root in the water for 2 hours to allow the release of the herb’s active ingredients.
- Use the resulting solution as mouth rinse at least twice daily.
- Alternatively, chew on the DGL tablets or dissolve in warm water and take twice daily.
4. Homemade Spray to Numb and Soothe The Ulcers:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons of olive oil, 5 drops of peppermint essential oil, 4 drops of eucalyptus oil and a mister bottle (one made of glass).
Mouth ulcers are painful, and the essence of preparing a homemade spray is to soothe the ulcers and reduce the pain. Olive oil is used because it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and also acts as a carrier oil for the rest of the ingredients. Peppermint oil on the other hand, has a cooling effect when applied on the skin. This works to effectively numb the area around the ulcer and reduce the discomfort of the swollen part. Eucalyptus oil is a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial that not only reduces the pain, but also prevents the sores from getting infected. The combination of these healing properties makes for an excellent remedy. All you need in addition to the oils, is a glass mister bottle to allow for easy application.
- Place the olive oil in the glass bottle before adding the essential oils.
- Cover the bottle tightly with the lid and shake well to allow even mixing of the oils.
- Spray the oil mixture directly onto the ulcers as often as you need to get pain relief.
- Remember to shake the oil mixture prior to using the remedy.
5. Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Coconut oil and some cotton wool.
Coconut oil is a very versatile home remedy as its healing properties make it well suited for the treatment of different conditions. Mouth ulcers are characterized by painful sores that often form on the inner cheek. To manage the pain, coconut oil is applied directly on the sore. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce the inflammation and swelling, while its antimicrobial properties go a long way in reducing the chances of an infection. Coconut oil also has a distinct taste that makes it easy to use for many people.
- Place a few drops of coconut oil on the cotton wool and let it soak for a few minutes.
- Put the wet cotton wool on the mouth sores and let the oil seep onto the sores.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for quick healing of the ulcers.
6. Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf, cotton wool and a clean spoon.
There is good reason why aloe vera leaf is often referred to as the ‘first-aid’ plant. The gel’s healing properties make it perfectly suited for treating mouth sores as aloe vera is known for its rich anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically on the sore, the gel’s cooling properties also soothe the pain. All you need for this remedy is some cotton wool to dry the sore and a cold spoon, both for application and for numbing the area around the sore.
- Use the cotton wool to dry the sore and allow it to absorb the saliva for easy application of the remedy.
- Slice the freshly cut aloe vera leaf and expose the inner flesh. This allows you to collect the gel with ease.
- Squeeze the aloe gel onto the cold spoon, and once you have collected enough of the gel, apply it on the sore.
- Use the remedy as often as you need to.
7. Fresh Celery Stalk:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Fresh celery stalk.
One of the simplest ways to treat mouth ulcers is to chew on fresh celery stalk. Not only does the pulp soothe the affected part, it also provides relief thanks to its analgesic properties. Additional benefits of using celery include the nutritional value of the stalk as it is rich in folic acid and the B Vitamins. In cases where the mouth ulcers are accompanied by foul breath, celery works as an effective antidote to bad breath.
- Using celery stalk as a natural remedy for mouth ulcers is pretty easy and straightforward. All you need to do is to first clean the celery before chewing on it.
- Chew the stalk in such a way that the pulp can be fixed on the mouth ulcer with relative ease.
- Use the celery thrice weekly or as often as you need to.
8. Ice Cubes:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: A handful of ice cubes and a thin towel.
Use ice cubes to treat mouth ulcers naturally and reduce the pain and inflammation associated with the sores. The low temperatures of the ice numb the skin and allow pain relief from the ulcers. The best time to use the ice is immediately after you start experiencing the symptoms of mouth ulcers formation, whether as a result of accidentally biting oneself or after eating extremely spicy food. It is important to mention that the application of this remedy creates a burning sensation at the onset, but this soon gives way to pain relief.
- Simply place the ice cubes on the thin towel so that you have a pack for topical use.
- Apply the remedy on the ulcers and rub gently. You should expect a burning sensation as mentioned above.
- Massage the ice pack for a few minutes at a time.
9. Raw Honey:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Honey and cotton wool.
Raw honey works by soothing ulcers, thus speeding up the healing process. Its excellent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties come in handy too as these prevent the cell damage caused by free radicals while combating any arising infections for a total recovery. You will need cotton wool for easy application. Follow the steps below to make the best of raw honey in treating mouth ulcers naturally.
- Simply soak the cotton wool in the honey and then rub it on the ulcers.
- Leave the honey on the ulcers. Repeat this procedure thrice daily.
10. Clove Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of olive oil, 5 drops of clove essential oil, cotton wool and warm salty water.
Clove oil is a popular remedy for conditions that affect dental health, which is why it is also recommended for the natural treatment of mouth ulcers. The main active ingredient in the oil is known as eugenol, a potent painkiller that provides much-needed relief from the pain and discomfort of the sores. Use clove oil to relieve oral pain and speed up the healing of the mouth ulcers.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salty water to get rid of debris in the mouth as well as to allow the optimal action of the clove oil.
- Add olive oil to the clove oil and mix the two well.
- Soak the cotton ball in the oil mixture and then apply on the mouth ulcer directly.
- Hold the wet wool in place for 5 minutes to numb the surrounding skin too.
- Discard the used cotton wool. Repeat this procedure thrice daily until the ulcers are completely healed.
Other home remedies used for the natural treatment of mouth ulcers include cayenne pepper that is a rich anti-inflammatory, warm salty water to prevent infections as well as chilled teabags to allow acid neutralization in the mouth as well as provide relief. If the ulcers do not improve within a few days, and stretches on for a couple more days, make sure you book a dentist’s appointment for further checkup.