15 Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers – Relieve The Pain!

Mouth ulcers are often referred to as canker sores and are small white spots inside the mouth that are usually surrounded by a red ring.  Mouth ulcers are generally located on the inside of the cheek or inner side of the lip.

They can vary in size and can get to about the size of a pencil eraser. Regardless of their size, mouth ulcers can be very painful.


While it’s not known exactly the cause of mouth ulcers and why some people experience them more than others, here are some of the more common probable causes:

  • Eating spicy and acidic foods on a frequent basis
  • Accidentally biting the inside of the cheek or lip
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Certain medications
  • Auto-immune disorders
  • Injury caused by the jab of a toothbrush
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Folic acid deficiency
  • Iron deficiency
  • Being run down or tired
  • Injury to the mouth, such as from the sharp edge of a chip
  • Viruses

Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers typically last for about a week, and occasionally, up to two weeks. While there is no cure, these mouth ulcer home remedies can help provide relief from the pain.

  1. Use a styptic pencil – Use a styptic pencil, found in most pharmacies, on a mouth ulcer to numb the pain.
  2. Apply honey – Cover the mouth ulcer with a coating of honey, which, with its antibacterial properties, will help speed healing.  The honey will also provide a protective coating.
  3. Take L-lysine – L-lysine is a supplement found in the vitamin section of your pharmacy. Take on a daily basis to help speed the healing of mouth ulcers as well as prevent new mouth ulcers from forming.
  4. Take a pain reliever – Over-the-counter pain relievers can help to relieve the pain of a mouth ulcer, especially when taken before a meal.
  5. Try a coating of Milk of Magnesia and Benadryl – Mix equal parts of Milk of Magnesia with liquid Benylin or Benadryl and apply using a cotton swab.  Benadryl and Benylin act as topical anesthetics and are antihistamines, which help to reduce the inflammation.
  6. Apply Orajel – Apply a product such as Orajel or Orabase with benzocaine.  It acts as a “liquid” bandage to cover the surface and dull the pain.
  7. Avoid alcohol and smoking – Alcohol and tobacco will further irritate a mouth ulcer and may even prolong healing time.
  8. Apply peppermint oil – Apply peppermint oil directly to the mouth ulcer to relieve the pain and irritation.
  9. Apply toothpaste – Apply a coating of toothpaste to the mouth ulcer several times per day.
  10. Avoid spicy, salty and acidic foods – These foods will further aggravate a mouth ulcer and may actually slow healing.
  11. Eat yogurt – The lactobacillus that is found in yogurt helps to discourage mouth ulcers and may even help to speed the healing process.
  12. Gargle with sage – Sage is antiseptic with anti-inflammatory properties.  Mix 2 teaspoons of cut sage with one cup of boiling of water; allow mixture to cool.  Gargle with this mixture several times daily.
  13. Dab with hydrogen peroxide – Apply 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to the mouth ulcer using a cotton swab.
  14. Apply B-actif comfrey extract – This extract, found at health food stores, can be applied directly to the mouth ulcer and has been found to promote healing.
  15. Try a saltwater rinse – Mix 2 tablespoons of salt in a cup of warm water. Swish solution around the mouth, spit out. Repeat several times per day.


If you find that you are frequently experiencing mouth ulcers, you may be suffering from a vitamin deficiency. Take a multi-vitamin each day and, if necessary, a B-12 and/or iron supplement.  The above mentioned mouth ulcer remedies should provide at least some temporary pain relief for any mouth ulcers you currently have, and perhaps speed the healing process.  

Keep in mind that a mouth ulcer should clear up in less than two weeks. If you have a mouth ulcer lasting longer than two weeks, make an appointment with your doctor or dentist. An oral lesion lasting longer than two weeks may indicate cancer or another condition such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.


Have any remedies to sooth mouth ulcers? Please leave a comment below below!

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