Foods to Treat a Canker Sore

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.

Baking Soda

Wooden spoonful of baking soda 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 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 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 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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