Remedies vs. Treatments

By our definition, a treatment deals with an existing condition and sometimes only symptoms. It may or may not cure the problem. In this case, it’s a temporary fix that deals with existing canker sores; something to do right now for pain and discomfort and to make the little monsters go away…for now. A remedy, on the other hand, is a cure; something that helps to get rid of the problem and keeps it from coming back.

Natural treatments for existing sores

If you would rather avoid chemicals or just want to save money, here are some simple home treatments you can use to temporarily relieve the discomfort of an existing canker sore. Rinsing your mouth several times a day with warm water, along with either salt or baking soda mixed in will give some relief. No need to gargle, just try to keep it on the sore for a minute or so. Or, if you don’t mind a little extra pain, dab some salt or baking soda directly on the sore and leave it on for a few minutes.  Doing this several times a day can help speed up healing time as well as desensitize it. Painful, yes, but effective too. After you do this a few times, a whitish film will develop that will cover the indented (crater) part of your canker sore. The healing has begun.

Other remedies and treatments

Licorice root – candy for canker sores? Not really. This plant has been getting rave reviews from people with mouth sores.

Acidophilus – yogurt with live cultures.  It’s not just for breakfast anymore. Hold it in your mouth or swallow it. It’s all good.

Vitamins – besides preventing scurvy and rickets, they will help your immune system. Tip: food sources of vitamins are better than vitamin pills, but try to avoid processed foods because a lot of them are devoid of nutrients.

Stress relief – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Lysine – an amino acid that is said to have antiviral properties and for battling cold sores, but does it help with canker sores?

Goldenseal – according to Wikipedia, “Goldenseal is often used as a multi-purpose remedy, and is thought to possess many different medicinal properties. In addition to being used as a topical antimicrobial, it is also taken internally as a digestion aid, and may remove canker sores when gargled.”

Milk of Magnesia – Milk of Magnesia is made from magnesium hydroxide, which is also commonly used in antacids and laxatives. Some doctors recommended Milk of Magnesia to relieve the pain of canker sores and to help in healing. Some doctors have finally started recommending using a toothpaste without the chemical sodium lauryl sulfate to prevent mouth sores.