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I’ve had canker sores or mouth ulcers since I was in 2nd grade. I remember visiting the nurse and she would have me swish with a capful of 1/2 water 1/2 hydrogen peroxide. Yuck! Since then I’ve tried a variety of canker sore remedies including alum, salt, sauerkraut juice and who knows what else. Today, I’m sharing the canker sore remedies that actually work for me.
What is a Canker Sore
If you have no idea what I’m talking about consider yourself lucky. According to WebMD canker sores are “small, shallow ulcers that appear in the mouth and often make eating and talking uncomfortable”.
As I write this I have a huge, painful one of the tip of my tongue. Yeah, eating and talking, two things I do a lot of, are no fun right now. My friends and family can always tell when I’ve got one because I tend to talk a little funny or try not to talk at all.
WebMD says the exact causes of canker sores are unknown. Tissue damage, like biting your cheek or tongue can cause one to form. Stress, acidic foods, and sour candy are triggers that usually affect me. So while I love grapefruit and sour patch kids I know I have to limit myself. As far as limiting stress, I try but everyone knows it’s not that easy. When I’m extremely stressed I tend to get multiple canker sores. After one particularly bad episode when I was stressed out about training & meeting sales quotas for a new job ( I literally had 3 canker sores on the tip of my tongue and a couple others around my mouth, I was miserable) my sweet husband did some research online and brought home every remedy he could find.
Canker Sore Remedies
As I mentioned, I’ve been dealing with this for most of my life and have tried many, many things. My dentist even gave me a prescription for Valtrex, which treats cold sores (entirely different than canker sores). I’m not sure if it worked or not but I have given it a try. I’ve also gone through my fair share of Orajel. While it works to numb the area it can be painful to apply and doesn’t taste that great, so I don’t use it as much anymore. Maybe over the years I’ve just used too much. Here are the things I’ve found really work.
- SLS Free Toothpaste– Through my husband’s research we found that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), the chemical used to make toothpaste foamy, can irritate the mouth causing canker sores. Since I’ve started using SLS Free Toothpaste I’ve had fewer canker sores. Unfortunately, it seems like every time I find one I really like they discontinue it 🙁 I currently am using Tom’s of Maine – Botanically Bright .
- Mouth Rinse- I’ve also been using Orajel Antiseptic Mouth Sore Rinse. It contains Hydrogen Peroxide, like the school nurse used to give me, which is supposed to kill bacteria and promote healing. It also contains Menthol which is supposed to be a pain reliever.
- Throat Spray- When the pain is really bad I’ll use a throat spray like Chloraseptic to numb my mouth. I prefer cherry flavor.
- Advil – Canker sores are painful so I use a pain reliever like Advil to take the pain away.
- Snow Cones & Ice – Another great way to numb the pain is with ice or a snow cone. While I do really love snow cones, I like to keep a supply of ice on hand to numb my mouth when canker sores strike.
Do you suffer from canker sores? What are your go to remedies? Share them below in the comments section.