5 Canker Sore Remedies to Beat the Fallout From All That Candy

how to cure canker soresEaster candy is delicious, but it can also be a pain -- literally. Canker sores, tiny but painful ulcers that appear on the gums and mouth, aren't always something we associate with what we eat. But it sounds like we should.

There are two types of canker sores. The first, simple sores, are the ones we tend to associate with childhood. They are common during adolescence. No one is really sure what causes simple sores, but they are usually attributed to stress or a diet rich in acidic foods (like citrus fruits and candies heavily flavored with lemon, lime, or orange). 

The second type of sore is called (shockingly) a complex canker sore. These are more commonly found in adults. They too can be caused by diet or stress. But in adults they can also indicate that something else isn't quite right in the body. Sometimes complex canker sores can be your body's way of telling you that you have an immune deficiency disorder or an allergy. 


Both types of sores are painful. They can make eating, drinking, talking, and even smiling a real challenge. For the most part, canker sores go away on their own after anywhere from a day to a week. If your sore lasts longer than this, you should talk to your doctor -- especially if you have more symptoms, like a fever. 

Dr. Andres Pinto, an attending physician at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, told us some of the medically prescribed treatments:

[Treatments] range from the use of covering agents on the ulcer, topical corticosteroids, or cauterizing the area that is affected. Covering agents may include topical anesthetics or gels that protect the ulcer from contacting teeth and food, therefore decreasing pain. The use of topical corticosteroids is the only treatment that effectively decreases healing time.

While there are no other methods that officially cure the cankers, there are several home remedies that people swear by. They are worth giving a shot, but always listen to your doctor first. Here are a few of our favorite homespun cures.

1.) Salt Water Gargle

It's suggested that you gargle with salt water because salt helps rid the mouth of bacteria and cuts down on the acidity, which could be responsible for the sore. 

2.) Aloe Vera

The juice of the Aloe plant is known for its curative properties. A little bit of the juice squeezed from the leaves and applied to your sore several times a day is thought to speed healing.

3.) Baking Soda Paste

Similar to salt, a paste made of a little bit of water and some baking soda will lower acid levels in your mouth. Bonus points, it also freshens your breath and whitens your teeth.

4.) Cayenne Pepper 

You'd think putting pepper in your mouth would be the last thing you'd ever want to do. But not so! Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which temporarily inhibits your nerves. A spicy way to dull the pain. 

5.) Ice 

This won't heal the wound faster, but it will temporarily numb it AND keep you hydrated. That's a win-win.

Do you have any cures for your canker sores?


Image via Glenn Froma/Corbis

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