Have you felt a sharp pain in your mouth as you're eating or brushing your teeth? You're certainly not alone.
"Recurring aphthous ulcers" best known as canker sores are more than just a nuisance for the thousands periodically struck by them. While the cause is not completely understood, it's believed that different individuals have different triggers. These triggers include nutritional deficiencies, local trauma, stress, hormonal influences, allergies, or simply a genetic predisposition.
The condition is relatively common, affecting one in 5 people at some point in their lives, and the painful wounds generally disappear within 10-14 days.
But anyone who'se suffered from these little buggers before knows very well that two weeks, can feel like an eternity with a canker sore.
Fortunately, there are home remedies that can help alleviate the highly unpleasant burning sensation these blisters cause in the mouth - here are 5 that seem well worth a shot!
Papaya is very high in vitamin C, with the additional benefits of containing carotenoids, vitamin A and other essential nutrients.
Rich, delicious papaya is often recommended for people who have trouble digesting proteins, but it's also said to have properties that can help relieve canker sores.
The fruit's anti-inflammatory qualities have led people to use it to relieve toothaches in some parts of the world, so try chewing on a little papaya and this should provide some relief.
Licorice. You either love it or hate it. Be that as is may, licorice root has been used in medicine for over 6,000 years, and is said to be able to treat a wide range of ailments.
3. Baking soda
Try dabbing a little baking soda on the affected area of the mouth.
Baking soda is an old classic folk remedy for a variety of ailments - and among these is helping neutralize corrosive acids in the mouth.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Indigenous people in Australia have long used tea tree oil as a germicide. Extracts of the oil can also be found in oral care products as they are believed to have positive effects on relieving fungal infections of the mouth.
Tea tree oil also kills and prevents ailments including staphylococcus, coli bacteria, herpes and candida fungus, although more research is needed in these areas. Try dabbing a bit of oil on a cotton ball and place on the wound in the mouth, or mix with water and gargle twice a day.
Cloves have proved to be successful in helping alleviate the pain associated with mouth ulcers.
Simply apply some clove directly on your canker sore. It will likely sting at first, but gradually the natural antiseptic substance eugenol will develop and this topic makes a great local anesthetic.
Bonus tip: Change your toothpaste
If you frequently suffer from canker sores, it may be time to reconsider your choice of toothpaste. Many toothpastes contain sodium lauryl which can irritate mucus in the mouth and influences the incidence of mouth ulcers.
For people regularly suffering from canker sores, it's worth taking a look at your toothpaste. Make sure that it does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate.
I know I am definitely going to be keeping all of the above home remedies in mind - I am affected by canker sores every now and then, and when I do have one, life can feel truly miserable. Do remember, you should seek medical care for your canker sores if you have difficulty eating or if your symptoms exceed two weeks.
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