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What are some home treatments for canker sores?

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Quick Answer

Home treatments for canker sores include salt water or baking soda rinses, milk of magnesia, and ice on the sore, according to Mayo Clinic. Zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B-12, iron, folic acid and vitamin E supplements may also help with canker sores, reports the Ash Center for Comprehensive Medicine.

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Full Answer

Home remedies aim to support the healing process and reduce pain caused by canker sores. Avoiding irritating agents such as acidic or spicy foods or toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate eases the discomfort of canker sores, states Andrew Weil, M.D.

Gargling or swishing different mixtures can also support healing and make the canker sore feel better. A mixture of 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 cup warm water or salt water is one rinse option, suggests Mayo Clinic. Another option is 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup water and a zinc tablet dissolved or 10 acidophilus tablets dissolved in water, according to The Ash Center for Comprehensive Medicine.

Topical treatments are another home treatment option. Milk of magnesia dabbed on the spot multiple times a day is a remedy suggested by Mayo Clinic. Propolis, alum powder or a paste made from slippery elm powder and water are topical treatments recommended b Andrew Weil, M.D. Propolis is made by honey bees and is sold in health food stores. Alum powder may burn when first applied, but it helps speed healing.

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