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12 Natural Remedies For Mouth Ulcers

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

People who have experienced mouth ulcers know the discomfort and pain that this condition can cause. Eating becomes next to impossible and whatever little you try to ingest goes down very painfully. Stress has a big role to play in these ulcers appearing inside the mouth along with malnutrition. The exact causes of mouth ulcers vary from person to person. Some of the common causes of mouth ulcers include:

mouth ulcer home remedies

  • There is a lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the body (B12, zinc, iron, and folate).
  • As a response to bacterial or viral infection in the mouth.
  • Sensitivity to food containing acids like lemon, pineapple, strawberries or any other acidic food.
  • Intolerance to gluten can trigger the formation of mouth ulcers.
  • Toothpaste or mouthwash containing sodium lauryl sulphate can cause ulcer formation in some people.
  • People with autoimmune disorders and hormonal imbalances may experience recurrent oral ulcers.
  • Some oral cancers may present as non-healing and, at times, painless ulcers.

Here’s a quick guide on the different types of ulcers 

Types of UlcersSymptoms
Minor AphthousIt has smaller, painful mouth sores- They are typically oval or circular in shape- These sores will usually heal within two weeks- Does not leave scars after healing is complete
Major AphthousCharacterised by extremely painful, large sores- They have an irregular shape, much deeper than minor ulcers- It can take about six weeks to heal- Major ulcers may leave permanent scars
HerpetiformThese are pinpoint size ulcers, between 1-2 mm- They usually occur in groups of 10 to 100, forming irregular shapes- These ulcers typically do not scar- They heal within 1-2 weeks
TraumaticUlcers due to injury while brushing, sharp tooth, dental prosthesis, braces or cheek bites

Did You Know?

Home Remedies For Mouth Ulcers

There are several drugs and medications available in the market that can provide temporary relief from the condition. It is important to consult a doctor for the correct diagnosis and treatment of oral ulcers. Simple home remedies may help in addition to the prescribed treatment. Here is a list of home remedies which are popular for mouth ulcers.

1. Honey

Honey has many beneficial properties. However, you may be unaware of the fact that it can also be effective for mouth ulcers. Apply honey on the ulcers and let it remain. Since the ulcers are inside the mouth, you can accidentally ingest the applied honey along with your saliva. However, it is essential that you keep applying honey to the ulcer spots after every few hours.

Honey has antimicrobial properties and can aid in repairing any open wound quickly. Aside from reducing the ulcer, the honey also protects the area from infections.

2. Baking Soda Paste

Take equal amounts of baking soda and water. Mix them to create a thick paste. Apply this paste to the mouth ulcer and let it dry out. Once the mixture has dried, rinse your mouth with water and gargle as well. This should be done three times a day.

Baking soda is actually a chemical compound named sodium bicarbonate. This compound is used in many home-cleaning solutions. It also acts as one of the best mouth ulcer cures, as it can reduce the pain significantly. The baking soda neutralizes the acid formed by the ulcer, which eventually treats the condition.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is used in a wide variety of activities across most of India. However, very few people are aware of its healing properties when it comes to mouth ulcers. Simply apply a bit of coconut oil to the surface of the ulcer and let it stay on. You can also apply it while going to sleep at night. Similar to honey, coconut oil includes antimicrobial properties that help to reduce ulcers naturally. The same compound also acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatment for your mouth ulcers. Applying the oil can reduce the pain caused due to mouth ulcers.

4. Saltwater

Mix a tablespoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. Now gargle thoroughly using this liquid. Once you are done, you can gargle with plain water to remove the salty taste from your mouth. Using this procedure, you can soothe some of the pain and discomfort that you experience during the mouth ulcer. The antiseptic properties of salt are well known.

5. Toothpaste

Who knew that simple toothpaste can help against mouth ulcers as well? However, any good toothpaste contains antimicrobial properties that can reduce the swelling and pain of mouth ulcers.

Apply the toothpaste using a Q-tip. Ensure that you cover the entire ulcer region with toothpaste. Leave the paste on for a few minutes before rinsing it off. You can keep applying the toothpaste each day until you see the whiteness disappear from the ulcer. However, applying toothpaste to the ulcer can be quite painful. This pain can be offset by applying aloe vera gel on the spot.

6. Orange Juice

Orange is a great source of Vitamin C, which can prevent and aid mouth ulcers. However, consuming a whole orange may be difficult when you are suffering from these ulcers. A great remedy for mouth ulcers is to drink two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice every day.

Research has shown that Vitamin C deficiency can lead to mouth ulcers. Apart from this, Vitamin C is known to boost the immunity of a person, allowing their body to fight against all kinds of infections and diseases.

7. Clove Oil

Clove is an essential part of one of the most used spice mixes in India, Garam Masala. Clove oil is extracted from the flower bud. This extract is used in a wide range of natural remedies, including toothache and mouth ulcers. In case of mouth ulcers, take a small piece of cotton and apply the oil directly to the ulcer. Wait till the ulcer tissue absorbs the oil.

Remember to rinse your mouth with warm water prior to the application of the clove oil. This will clean up the surface of the ulcer region. Clove contains eugenol and antimicrobial properties that help deal with all oral issues. The pain and inflammation are also treated by the application of this oil.

8. Coconut Milk

Use coconut milk to gargle when you are suffering from mouth ulcers. This is one of the best remedies for mouth ulcer. When repeated three to four times each day, you are likely to feel a soothing effect and also reduced pain emanating from your ulcers.

9.Turmeric Powder

Turmeric is an antiseptic, which is used in almost all Indian dishes. Along with fighting infections, turmeric is also effective in battling against the inflammation and pain from mouth ulcers. The product has antimicrobial properties as well.

Take a bit of turmeric powder and some water. Mix to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on the ulcers every morning and evening. Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse it off properly. You should start noticing the difference immediately.

10. Garlic

Garlic is another common item in every Indian kitchen. While it is commonly used to flavour curries and dals, garlic can also act as a great remedy for mouth ulcers. The Allisin compound present in garlic makes it antimicrobial, which helps against a range of infections.

To use garlic, cut a clove in half and dab it on the ulcer spot for a minute or two. After this is done, rinse your mouth properly to remove the raw garlic odour from your breath. You can repeat this twice or even thrice each day.

11. Cabbage Juice:

Boil a raw cabbage and puree it once after it is sufficiently boiled. Drink this juice three to four times each day to receive the needed benefits. Cabbage possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the pain in your mouth, allowing you to consume solid foods easily, even though you may be suffering from severe mouth ulcers.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar

Next time you are at the grocer’s, pick up a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Take a tablespoon of this and mix it with half a cup of warm water. Take this solution inside your mouth and rinse with it. Keep repeating for a minute or two. Once this is done, rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water. You can keep repeating this every morning and evening, till the time that the ulcer heals.

Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial properties that will kill the germs which caused the ulcer in the first place. It will also speed up your recovery.

These are some of the home remedies that will likely improve mouth ulcers. However, there are several kinds of mouth ulcers, each with a different cause and treatment. Some mouth ulcers where bleeding occurs may be more severe than normal ulcers. Try out these hacks and see whether you receive any benefits from them. If you do not notice any improvement, you should visit the doctor immediately.

It is important to understand that oral ulcer cure depends on the type and cause of the ulcer. A doctor can best advise you on this. Above mentioned remedies are popular but lack scientific evidence and may not be effective for everyone.

Also Read: Mouth Larva: Understanding This Medical Condition and Its Treatment

Foods to avoid

If you already have a mouth ulcer, avoid some food and drinks to prevent the condition from deteriorating further. You can avoid the following food in order to heal the mouth ulcer faster.

  • Avoid acidic food like citrus fruits, pineapple, etc.
  • Spicy food can irritate the mouth ulcer and should be thus avoided.
  • Avoid oily food too since it can upset the ulcer.
  • Very hot tea and coffee should be avoided if you have a mouth ulcer.

At any rate, most mouth ulcers take around 7 to 10 days to be completely cured. You should have no issue with it once a couple of weeks pass by.

When to seek professional help for mouth ulcers

As effective as home remedies may be, you must also have a backup plan in case the home remedies for mouth ulcers fail:

  • If your condition does not get better even after 5-7 days have passed
  • If the ulcer has become redder and painful-this could be a sign of a bacterial infection which will then need to be treated with the help of antibiotics
  • If the mouth ulcer is due to inflammation or underlying nutritional deficiency such as folate, iron or vitamin B you may need to get blood tests done
  • If your mouth ulcer does not respond to standard treatment and your doctor is not able to detect the reason for chronic mouth ulcers you may be advised to get a biopsy done wherein a part of the tissue from your mouth is collected and sent to the laboratory for examination. 
  • If ulcers were preceded by or associated with fever

Some other telling signs that can indicate that your mouth ulcer is not just a normal ulcer but could maybe even be mouth cancer are if you smoke products containing tobacco if you drink alcohol quite frequently, and if are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).

For the best result, follow the medications and home remedies advised by a doctor. The best way to avoid mouth ulcers, however, is to avoid overstressing yourself, maintain proper oral hygiene and follow a balanced diet.

Also Read: Does Honey Expire? Unveiling The Truth About Honey’s Shelf Life


Q1. What is the main cause of mouth ulcers?

Most mouth ulcers are caused by things you can try to avoid, such as biting the inside of your cheek. Braces, badly fitting dentures, rough fillings or a sharp tooth are also responsible for mouth ulcers. Cuts or burns while eating or drinking, for example, hard food or hot drinks can aggravate mouth ulcer causes.

Q2. What is the fastest way to get rid of mouth ulcers?

The combination of salt and hydrogen peroxide will help the sore caused by mouth ulcers heal faster. Sometimes the simplest remedy is the best. You can also add some salt to warm water and rinse for about 30 seconds to get relief.

Q3. How long do mouth ulcers last?

Aphthous ulcers, also called canker sore, are small painful sores inside the mouth. They are oval-shaped ulcers with a yellow-grey centre that a red ring surrounds. Canker sores typically last 1–2 weeks.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.
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