Even though they may only be the size of a pencil eraser, mouth ulcers can cause a tremendous amount of pain. They can make even the simplest everyday tasks, like eating and drinking, a complete nightmare. No one really knows the true cause of these sores, but thankfully there are plenty of ways to combat them. Below are the top ten most beneficial and easy ways to get rid of mouth ulcers.
1. Warm Salt Water: Gargling with warm salt water is a proven way to rapidly heal mouth ulcers. It is believed that the salt helps to draw excess moisture out of the ulcer, causing it to shrink and heal more quickly.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt to ½ cup of warm water and stir until dissolved.
Gargle with the water for about 30 seconds, and then spit it out. Do not swallow it.
Repeat until you have used all of the water.
Repeat this treatment twice a day until the ulcer is gone.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide: Disinfecting the ulcer with hydrogen peroxide is known to help speed healing. Because researchers believe bacteria is to blame for many cases of mouth ulcers, the peroxide will kill any bacteria present and disinfect the area to help prevent future mouth ulcers from appearing.
Mix ¼ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with ¼ cup of water.
Apply the mixture to the ulcer with a cotton swab. Then, dip a clean swab into the mixture, and hold it on the ulcer for about 30 seconds.
Repeat this treatment twice a day.
3. Reduce Stomach Acidity: Many times, mouth ulcers are caused by elevated acid levels in the body. This is easily fixed by:
Avoiding acidic food and drinks, such as fruit juices, soda and spicy foods.
Chewing 2 to 3 antacid tablets before meals to lower the acid levels in your saliva.
4. Use Mouthwash after Brushing Your Teeth: Mouth ulcers can be caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. Always use a mouthwash after brushing to disinfect the area and kill troublesome bacteria. By using mouthwash everyday, even when you do not have an active mouth ulcer, you can prevent ulcers from forming.
Using any over the counter mouthwash, swish 2 to 3 times per day for at least a full minute.
Always spit out the mouthwash. Never swallow it.
If the mouthwash causes a burning sensation, you may swish with liquid Benadryl to help numb the ulcer before using the mouthwash.
5. Use All Natural Toothpaste: Many people are allergic to certain ingredients in regular toothpaste. These ingredients cause constant mouth ulcers. SLS (sodium laureth sulfate) is responsible for giving toothpaste its foaming ability. It serves no beneficial purpose in keeping teeth clean.
Always read the ingredient labels on toothpaste. Choose one that does not contain SLS.
Switch to an organic, all natural toothpaste to avoid any artificial ingredients.
6. Milk of Magnesia: Milk of Magnesia is used to combat indigestion, and helps to reduce the acidity level in your mouth. This helps to heal mouth ulcers rather quickly.
Using a cotton swab, dab a little Milk of Magnesia onto the ulcer 2 to 3 times per day.
If you like, you may swish with a mouthful of Milk of Magnesia for a full minute, and then spit it out.
7. Aloe Vera: The fresh juice from the aloe plant can do more than just heal burns. It can also make mouth ulcers disappear. Make sure that you use 100% pure aloe Vera gel or juice, with no other additives. Some store bought gels contain alcohol, which is not suitable for use in the mouth.
Cut a 1 inch piece of the leaf off of an aloe plant.
Carefully cut the leaf open to expose the gel on the inside.
Rub the inside of the leaf over the ulcer, and then hold it there for 30 seconds.
Repeat this treatment twice per day.
8. Sage Tea: Sage is useful for more than just flavoring your Thanksgiving stuffing. It makes a highly effective mouthwash to heal mouth ulcers quickly.
Add 3 tablespoons of rubbed sage to a cup of hot water.
Let the tea steep for 10 minutes.
Strain out the leaves, and swish with the tea for a full minute, and then spit it out.
Repeat this treatment twice per day.
9. Take Your Vitamins: A vitamin deficiency is believed to be a leading cause of mouth ulcers. Make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. A deficiency in vitamin B-12 is believed to be the main contributor to mouth ulcers, so eating foods rich in this nutrient can help to heal and prevent future ulcers.
Take a daily multivitamin.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
10. Reduce Stress: Stress can cause a painful outbreak of mouth ulcers. Prolonged stress is known to lower the immune system, which makes you even more susceptible to bacterial infections, such as mouth ulcers. Try to reduce stress by:
Meditating. Just sitting quietly and thinking peaceful thoughts for 15 minutes a day can drastically reduce stress levels.
Practice yoga. The gentle breathing techniques used in yoga help to calm nerves and reduce stress.