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2 Common Household Items That Can Help Get Rid of Canker Sores

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Hydrogen Peroxide can help get rid of Canker Sores by reducing bacteria in your mouth that contribute to the canker sore. A salt water rinse can work in the same way.

Canker sores can be very painful and uncomfortable. When you get a canker sore, you want fast relief. 

This article describes two easy methods to shorten the duration of canker sores: Hydrogen Peroxide and saltwater rinses. 

What causes canker sores?

A canker sore is a term that is being used to refer to an open and quite painful ulcer that has formed inside the mouth.

The canker sore is known to be the most common type of mouth ulcer. In most cases, they are colored white or yellow, being surrounded by red, inflamed tissue. The usual location of a canker sore is on the cheek, or inside the lip. Canker sores have been reported to cause a tingling sensation inside the mouth.

Not to worry, canker sores, unlike cold sores, are not contagious. 

The precise cause of canker sores is yet to be determined. However, there are some potential triggers that have been noticed to be involved in the development of canker sores:

Common Triggers
Emotional stress
hormonal changes during menstruation period
a diet low in folate, Vitamin B12, zinc, or iron
sensitivity to foods like chocolate, eggs, and nuts

Canker sores can go away on their own, without any treatment being used. The usual time needed for a canker sore to heal, without treatment, is from one to three weeks maximum. On the other hand, when treatment is being used, canker sores can go away in just seven to ten days. 

Household Item #1: Hydrogen peroxide

Because canker sores usually cause difficulty eating and talking, despite the fact that they can go away on their own, most people still seek treatment. 

Hydrogen peroxide has been used as a treatment for canker sores for quite a long time now.

It is available in the form of a solution, offered by numerous different brands. Because hydrogen peroxide is a powerful antiseptic, it has the ability to clean the canker sore of any present bacteria, and with that, speed up the healing process, causing the pain to reduce.

As soon as the hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with the canker sore, it causes foaming due to the oxygen release that happens. The foaming helps to eliminate the mucus and bacteria from the area, leaving a feeling of an all-around clean mouth.

Hydrogen peroxide causes immediate pain relief, which is why most people with canker sores use it often. It is also a common practice to use hydrogen peroxide to treat other minor irritations that have occurred in the mouth due to cold sores, gingivitis, and dentures.

You would be surprised to find out that most canker sore gels available at the pharmacy use hydrogen peroxide as their main ingredients.

How to use Hydrogen peroxide

One of the most commonly used methods for applying hydrogen peroxide for canker sores is mixing one part water and one part hydrogen peroxide and using a cotton swab to apply it directly onto the canker sore. Just make sure that you do not swallow any of the solutions. Some hydrogen peroxide brands do not require to be mixed with water, so do read the provided instructions before you proceed to use it. 

The other method that you can use is simply swishing a bit of hydrogen peroxide inside your mouth, as you would with your usual mouthwash.

Swish the hydrogen peroxide for at least one minute, focusing on where your canker sore is located, and later, spit out the entire hydrogen peroxide. Do not wash your mouth with water afterward so that the effect of the applied hydrogen peroxide can last longer.

For the best results, use hydrogen peroxide after each meal of the day (3-4 times a day). You can also consult your dentist about how often should you use hydrogen peroxide to treat your canker sores.

If your canker sores do not improve in the period of seven days, do report to your dentist right away for the purposes of a further investigation.

Household Item #2: Salt

According to Anyanechi and Saheeb (2014), salt is used to treat canker sores in an effective way without any side effects.

Saltwater is a good natural disinfectant. You can use salt water to reduce the pain associated with canker sores. It is a great natural remedy for your canker sores. Swishing with salt water will relieve pain and accelerate the healing process. 

Canker sores are raw ulcers and easily infected with microorganisms in the mouth such as bacteria. A saltwater rinse significantly eases painful sensations from canker sores by increasing the alkalinity.

Likewise, saltwater decreases the intensity of bacteria by increasing the level of moisture and salivary defense mechanism. This speeds up the healing process!

How to Use Salt Water Rinses

It is recommended not to rub salt into canker sores because it can cause pain and discomfort in the nerve endings. So much so, the abrasion from salt crystals will make matters even worse.

Use sea salt as it contains natural minerals that are proven beneficial for reducing pain and canker sore ulcers.

Rinsing your mouth with sea salt water is a great remedy, though it can cause a little discomfort, but can significantly dry out your canker sores.

Dissolve 1 tbsp. of salt in half cup of warm water. Then, swirl the mixture in your mouth for about 25-30 seconds – and spit it out. Repeat the process every two or three hours.

Furthermore, saltwater enhances the pH balance of the mouth and create an alkaline environment, which is a drastic habitat for microorganisms including bacteria. This way, bacteria, and other microbes struggle to survive. Bacteria and other similar species prefer an acidic environment – so using the rinse can make it problematic for bacteria to survive.

Lastly, we want to let you know that the saltwater solution is isotonic, which contains the same minerals that a human body produces in equal concentrations.

So, it does not disturb the mucous membrane as compared to other mouthwashes. This is why clinical research scholars, healthcare professionals, and most importantly, dentists recommend it as a natural healing aid to get rid of canker sores.


1. Stone, O. (1991). Aphthous stomatitis (canker sores): A consequence of high oral submucosal viscosity (the role of the extracellular matrix and the possible role of lectins). Medical Hypotheses,36(4), 341-344. doi:10.1016/0306-9877(91)90007-l - Source:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1809853

2. Subiksha S. P. (2014). Various Remedies for Recurrent Aphthous UlcerA Review.Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 6(6), 251-253 -Source:https://www.jpsr.pharmainfo.in/Documents/Volumes/vol6issue06/jpsr06061405.pdf

3.Altenburg, A., El-Haj, N., Micheli, C., Puttkammer, M., Abdel-Naser, M., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2014). The Treatment of Chronic Recurrent Oral Aphthous Ulcers.Deutsches Aerzteblatt Online. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2014.0665 - Source:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215084/

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