A couple of days ago I woke up with a canker sore on the inside of my lower lip. I get them once in a blue moon, less often than when I was younger. I suspect it popped up because of stress, as things have been a little bumpy lately. The little blister was annoying – red, sore and constantly rubbing against my teeth. The bump wasn’t huge, maybe 2 mm across. I googled “Coconut Oil for Canker Sores”, and found that some sites recommended it, so I decided to give it a try.
Since I was taking my tablespoon of coconut oil before breakfast, lunch and dinner anyway, I decided to hold the oil in the front of my mouth as long as possible as it dissolved. (For those who haven’t read Eat Fat, Lose Fat, the authors recommend taking a tablespoon of coconut oil in warm water 20 minutes before meals. I usually am on the go so I just scoop some out of the jar and stuff it in my cheek until it dissolves. Feel free to let me know if there’s a problem with this, but it seems to be working for me.)
After breakfast, the day got busy as usual and I didn’t really have time to focus on the canker sore. It wasn’t until around 4:30 in the afternoon when I was talking to my sister on the phone that I realized the bump was GONE. Nada, zip, zilch. I went and looked in the mirror and all that was left was a red spot and a slight indentation. By the next morning even that was mostly gone. The area was just a wee bit darker then the surrounding tissue. I have NEVER gotten over a canker sore this fast. I’ve tried over the counter remedies, alum, ice cubes – nothing has worked this fast or this painlessly (alum really stings, BTW). It could be merely coincidence, but I don’t think so.
My son says I’ve been using coconut oil for everything lately, and it does seem that way at times. (I’ve recommended it for warts, dry skin, dandruff, thyroid issues, weight loss….) When something works, it works. I’m not saying it’s going to work for everyone all the the time, but I’ve seen some very good results and maybe it can help you, too.
What is a Canker Sore?
- Simple canker sores. These may appear three or four times a year and last up to a week. They typically occur in people between 10 and 20 years of age.
- Complex canker sores. These are less common and occur more often in people who have previously had them.
They continue with information on potential causes of canker sores –
The exact cause of most canker sores is unknown. Stress or tissue injury is thought to be the cause of simple canker sores. Certain foods – including citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables (such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, apples, figs, tomatoes, and strawberries) – can trigger a canker sore or make the problem worse. Sometimes a sharp tooth surface or dental appliance, such as braces or ill-fitting dentures, might also trigger canker sores.
Some cases of complex canker sores are caused by an underlying health condition, such as an impaired immune system; nutritional problems, such as vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron deficiency; and gastrointestinal tract disease, such as Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.
Can Canker Sores Be Prevented?
Although there is no cure for canker sores and they often reoccur, you may be able to reduce their frequency by:
1. Avoiding foods that irritate your mouth – including acidic or spicy foods
2. Avoiding irritation from gum chewing
3. Brushing with a soft-bristled brush after meals and flossing daily, which will keep your mouth free of foods that might trigger a sore.
So, if you have frequently occurring canker sores, you should probably take a look at your health/diet to see what the underlying factors might be.
Other Home Remedies for Canker Sores
Update: Some other home remedies for canker sores suggested on the Common Sense Homesteading facebook page:
- Crushed up antacid
- tea tree oil
- manuka honey
- echinacea and goldenseal mixed into coconut oil
- aloe vera juice
Disclaimer: So I don’t get hunted down and lynched by some government bureaucracy or another. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, although we do own a stethoscope and a lab coat (we’re homeschoolers ;-) I am just a mom asking questions because I am sick and tired of the pill-popping, processed food dominated status quo.
Featured at Homestead Barn Hop #60.