canker-soersCanker sores (aphthous ulcers) are gray or white lesions that develop only inside the mouth on the cheeks, inner lips, tongue, or throat. Not to be confused with cold sores, which develop on the outside of the mouth or lip area and very specific parts of the mouth. The cause of canker sores is still unknown today, however they are believed to be caused by an overreaction of the immune system to a type of localized irritant. They can appear after times of high stress or in some cases after injury or irritation to the area. There are several steps you can take to heal these pesky irritants, and a few things you can try to prevent them from coming back.

Coconut oil has a plethora of uses these days from cooking, to beauty, and now canker sores. It contains anti-inflammatory agents that help to shrink the infected tissues allowing them to heal faster. The oil also contains anti-microbial agents that help with cell repair and boost the immune system. Not only can you use coconut oil as a topical treatment, but oil pulling has also been found to help prevent the reoccurrence of canker sores.

Oil pulling works by taking a table spoon of organic raw extra virgin coconut oil and swishing it around in your mouth for a period of 2-15 minutes. Once you’ve completed the rinse, spit the oil into the trash. Be careful not to drink the oil as it can cause you to become nauseous. This process has been found to draw out bad bacteria and toxins from the gums and salivary glands, which helps to prevent future canker sores from coming back.

Yogurt is another powerful natural aid to help battle canker sores. Made from a fermentation process that converts bacteria or yeast into organic acids, yogurt has good bacterias in it that help balance the bad bacterias in our mouths. It helps to both treat the pain and other symptoms of canker sores, while also preventing future break outs.

If the pain is still too strong, cayenne pepper is recommend. This sounds crazy, but capsaicin, the ingredient in cayenne pepper that makes it spicy, can also inhibit something called substance P. Substance P is found in the brain and is responsible for regulating pain response in the body. So by mixing a little water and cayenne into a paste and dabbing it on the canker sore, it will actually numb the pain you are experiencing.

While canker sores are inconvenient and painful, there are easy solutions that can be found right in your kitchen pantry to help heal and even prevent them from coming back.

Call our Long Beach Dentist office today at (562) 434-6414 to schedule your bi-annual check-up!