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Foods to Treat a Canker Sore

author image Susan DeFeo
Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey's "Cape May County Herald" for more than a decade and currently covers the family and pet beat for CBS Philadelphia. Her health, fitness, beauty and travel articles have appeared in various online publications. DeFeo studied visual communications at SUNY Farmingdale.
Foods to Treat a Canker Sore
Black tea contains tannin, which helps heal canker sores.

Canker sores hurt and sometimes make the smallest mouth movement painful. These tiny lesions in your mouth or gums can be caused by injury, vitamin deficiency, stress, a body chemistry imbalance, food allergies or acidic foods, such as pineapples, tomatoes and oranges. Because the bacteria-laden mouth is a difficult area to treat, certain foods make easy, affordable remedies in battling bacteria and minimizing discomfort associated with canker sores.

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Baking Soda

Wooden spoonful of baking soda
Wooden spoonful of baking soda Photo Credit: Chorboon Chiranuparp/iStock/Getty Images

Baking soda reduces acidity in the mouth. It not only heals existing canker sores, but it prevents new lesions. According to "Home Remedies What Works," Dr. Dan L. Watt, a Virginia-based dentist, says baking soda prevents many kinds of periodontal problems and reduces bacteria in the mouth when used regularly. He says, "It probably lessens the ability of bacteria to get into the salivary glands in the first place."

Combine 2 teaspoons of baking soda to 16 ounces of warm water. Swish it around in your mouth for 60 seconds, and then spit it out. Alternatively, put 1 teaspoon of baking soda into a small bowl, and add a drop or two of water to form a paste. Apply the paste directly onto your canker sores.


Yogurt in jar with blueberries
Yogurt in jar with blueberries Photo Credit: tashka2000/iStock/Getty Images

Yogurt that contains active cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus acts to eliminate canker sores by "sending in helpful bacteria to counter the bad bacteria in your mouth," reports dermatologist Dr. Jerome Z. Litt in the book "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies." Consume at least 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt per day for to prevent sores and 8 ounces daily to heal outbreaks, as suggested by the Holistic Online website.

Black Tea

Loose black tea with mug and vanilla bean
Loose black tea with mug and vanilla bean Photo Credit: Ildi_Papp/iStock/Getty Images

Another food product that warrants a try is black tea. Black tea contains tannin, an astringent that reduces pain associated with canker sores. According to the Kids Health website, applying a wet black tea bag directly on the lesion for 60 seconds can offer beneficial results. If you like the taste, drink two to three cups of black tea daily.

Kale and Carrots

Kale leaves
Kale leaves Photo Credit: zona/iStock/Getty Images

Leafy green vegetables provide B complex vitamins. These vitamins reduce stress in the body, a common trigger for the development of canker sores, according to the Holistic Online website. Canker sores may also indicate iron deficiency, so it is important to consume foods containing the mineral. Additionally, give carrots a try. They provide beta-carotene, a potent healer for mouth sores.

Prepare a juice by combining four to five outer kale leaves, a small amount of parsley and spinach and four or five carrots in a juicer machine. Drink two glasses daily. For faster healing, you can also go on a juice fast for one to three days.

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