Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are painful sores in the mouth. They can make it hard to eat or drink as usual.
Most sores heal on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. Some people may need medicine to ease pain and swelling and prevent new sores from forming. Others turn to natural therapies to help heal their canker sores.
These therapies may help promote healing and ease pain:
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
Herbs and Supplements
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A12. Hoseinpour H, Peel SA, et al. Evaluation of Rosa damascena mouthwash in the treatment of recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Quintessence Int. 2011 Jun;42(6):483-491.
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A14. Bhalang K, Thunyakitpisal P, et al. Acemannan, a polysaccharide extracted from Aloe vera, is effective in the treatment of oral aphthous ulceration. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 May;19(5):429-434.
A15. Lalla RV, Choquette LE, et al. Multivitamin therapy for recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial. J Am Dent Assoc. 2012 Apr;143(4):370-376.
A16. Pourahmad M, Rahiminejad M, et al. Effects of camel thorn distillate on recurrent oral aphthous lesions. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2010 May;8(5):348-352.
A17. Babaee N, Mansourian A, et al. The efficacy of a paste containing Myrtus communis (Myrtle) in the management of recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a randomized controlled trial. Clin Oral Investig. 2010 Feb;14(1):65-70.
B1. El-Haddad SA, Asiri FY, et al. Efficacy of honey in comparison to topical corticosteroid for treatment of recurrent minor aphthous ulceration: a randomized, blind, controlled, parallel, double-center clinical trial. Quintessence Int. 2014 Sep;45(8):691-701.
Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 5/27/2020