Canker sores are not usually a sign of anything serious, but they can certainly be painful! Most heal on their own within a week or two, but if you want to get over yours more quickly, there are a number of home remedies you can try.
Oral bacteria produce acid, which can irritate your canker sore and cause it to heal more slowly. Baking soda is alkaline, so it neutralizes this acid and may promote faster healing. There are a couple of ways to use baking soda to treat your canker sore. You can stir a spoonful into a glass of water and rinse with this mixture. Or, you can dab a little baking soda directly on the sore. This second method may hurt a bit more, but it may also be more effective since there's more direct contact between the sore and the baking soda.
Aloe vera is widely known for its pain relieving and healing abilities. It's perfectly safe to swallow, so you can use it on sores inside your mouth as well as those on your skin. Just squeeze some pulp out of a section of aloe plant, and rub it onto your canker sore. You could also purchase an aloe mouth wash and use it several times per day when your canker sore starts becoming painful.
Milk of Magnesia
Like baking soda, milk of magnesia is alkaline, which should help neutralize the acids that make canker sores painful and slow-healing. However, it tends to taste better than baking soda. Use a cotton swab to dab a little onto your canker sore. Another option is to mix a tablespoon into a glass of lukewarm water and use this to rinse out your mouth.
Tea may help draw out the virus that is at the root of your canker sore problem. It is also high in antioxidants, which can help boost your body's healing power. Brew a cup of black or green tea. (Don't use herbal tea -- most does not contain actual tea leaves.) Then, let the tea bag cool off to a comfortable temperature before holding it against the canker sore for about five minutes. You can then sip the tea to help boost your immune system internally.
Sage is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, so it might help encourage your canker sore to heal faster. Make a sage rinse by pouring a cup of boiling water over 10 - 12 fresh sage leaves. Alternatively, you can use a tablespoon of dried sage leaves, but this won't be quite as effective. Let this mixture steep for about 10 minutes, and then remove the sage leaves. Once the mixture reaches room temperature, use it to rinse your mouth out. You can store any extra sage rinse in a jar in the fridge and use it as needed until your canker sore heals.
Keep in mind that everyone is different and that canker sores have multiple causes. What works for someone else may not work well for you, so try a few of these remedies and decide which is most effective for you.
If you don't find success in using these home remedies to get rid of canker sores, make an appointment with a local dentist. Many dentists use laser therapy to treat canker sores. This treatment kills the virus inside the canker sore, which allows your body to heal a lot faster. (Healing may take as little as 2 days instead of 2 weeks.) Laser treatment does not hurt, and it only takes a few minutes. Talk to your dentist or visit a site like http://www.silveradofamilydental.com to learn more.