Putting Salt on Canker Sore: A Quick and Effective Remedy

Dealing with the discomfort and extreme pain of a canker sore? Look no further than the humble condiment in your kitchen cupboard: salt. Discover the potential of harnessing this everyday ingredient as a natural remedy for canker sores. This article delves into the fascinating world of putting salt on canker sores, exploring its effectiveness, benefits, and recommended methods. Bid farewell to pesky oral ulcers as we uncover this age-old remedy and its potential for soothing relief.

Canker Sores: What Are They?

Aphthous ulcer is one of the common diseases associated with ulcerative colitis, and it refers to canker sores, which are small shallow lesions developing inside the cheeks area. They are not on the surface of your lips, as with cold sores; they cannot be transmitted or spread.

Canker mouth sores are typically ring-shaped or oval, with a whitish or yellowish center and a red ring surrounding it. They often result in pain, especially during eating, drinking, or speaking. It takes about a week or two to heal without any treatment. Although their origin is unclear, they could emanate from minor mouth injuries, stress, nutrition shortage, or a weak immune system.

Identifying the Causes of Canker Sores

putting salt on canker sore

Examining the origins of canker sores is pivotal in comprehending and effectively addressing these prevalent yet troublesome oral ulcers. Although the precise etiology of most canker sores remains not fully elucidated, various factors have been identified as influential contributors to their onset.

Causes of Canker Sores:

  • Tissue Injury: Minor injuries to the mouth from dental work, accidental biting, or abrasive foods can lead to canker sores.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of vitamins, particularly B12, zinc, folic acid, or iron, is often linked to the development of canker sores.
  • Stress and Hormonal Changes: Emotional stress and hormonal fluctuations can trigger canker sores in some individuals.
  • Food Sensitivities: Certain foods, especially acidic or spicy ones, can trigger or worsen canker sores.
  • Immune System Issues: Some canker sores may be related to an immune system response or conditions where the body mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the mouth.
  • Genetic Factors: A family history of canker sores might increase the likelihood of developing them.
  • Oral Hygiene Products: Ingredients in some toothpaste and mouth rinses, particularly sodium lauryl sulfate, can contribute to canker sore formation.

The Role of Salt in Treating Canker Sores

The role of salt in treating canker sores, a common home remedy, is rooted in its properties that aid in healing. Understanding how salt works on canker sores helps effectively use this method for canker sore treatment.

  • Antiseptic Properties: Salt is known for its natural antiseptic properties, which can help reduce bacteria in the mouth, potentially decreasing the risk of infection in the sore area.
  • Reducing Inflammation: Applying salt to canker sores may help reduce inflammation and swelling, relieving discomfort.
  • Pain Management: While the initial application of salt can cause a stinging sensation, it may subsequently numb the area, temporarily relieving pain.
  • Promoting Healing: Salt water rinses can draw out moisture from the mouth ulcer, which may aid in healing, potentially making the sore heal faster.
  • Application Method: Typically, salt is dissolved in warm water to create a saline solution, which is then used to rinse the mouth. Though more painful, direct application of salt to the sore is another method.

How to Safely Apply Salt to a Canker Sore

Safely applying salt to a canker sore is a simple yet effective home remedy, but it’s important to do it correctly to avoid further irritation. Understanding the right method can maximize the healing benefits while minimizing discomfort and pain.

  • Preparing the Salt Solution: Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. This saline solution mimics the body’s salt concentration, making it less irritating than applying salt directly.
  • Application Method: Use the saline solution to gently rinse the mouth, swishing around the area of the canker sore for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. This method is less painful than applying salt directly to the sore.
  • Frequency: Repeat the salt rinse two to three times a day. Consistent application is key for effectively reducing canker sore pain and promoting healing.
  • Direct Application for Severe Cases: In severe canker sores, applying a small amount of salt directly to the sore might be more effective. However, this can be quite painful and should be done with caution.
  • Monitor the reaction: How the canker sore responds to the salt treatment. If irritation increases, reduce the concentration of salt or discontinue its use.

Pros and Cons of Using Salt for Canker Sores

putting salt on canker sore

Using salt for canker sores is a common home remedy with advantages and disadvantages. Weighing these pros and cons of canker sores can help individuals decide whether this treatment suits their situation.


    • Natural Antiseptic: Salt has natural antiseptic properties that can reduce bacteria in the mouth, potentially preventing infection in the sore.
    • Affordability and Accessibility: Salt is a cost-effective and readily available option for canker sore treatment.
    • Reduces Inflammation: Salt can help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with canker sores, relieving discomfort.
    • Promotes Healing: The drying effect of salt may help the canker sore heal more quickly.


    • Painful Application: Applying salt directly to a canker sore can be quite painful, especially during the initial contact.
    • Potential for Irritation: Excessive use of salt can irritate the mucous membranes in the mouth, potentially exacerbating the symptoms of canker sores.
    • Not a Cure-All: It is important to note that salt treatment may not yield universal effectiveness and should be regarded as a source of symptomatic relief rather than a definitive cure for canker sores.
    • Risk of Overuse: Overindulgence in salt rinses can disrupt the natural balance of oral flora. This disturbance can lead to additional oral health issues beyond canker sores, emphasizing the need for moderate salt-based remedies.

Alternative Remedies and Preventive Measures for Canker Sores

Exploring alternative home remedies and preventive measures for canker sores is essential for those seeking additional options beyond traditional treatments. These alternatives offer a range of solutions to both alleviate current sores and prevent future occurrences.

Alternative Remedies:

    • Baking Soda Paste: Applying baking soda and water paste can neutralize acidity and reduce inflammation.
    • Honey Application: Honey’s natural antibacterial properties can aid in healing and relieve pain.
    • Coconut Oil: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it can be applied directly to the sore to soothe discomfort.
    • Chamomile Tea Bags: A chilled chamomile tea bag, known for its calming properties, can be applied to the sore for relief.
    • Aloe Vera: Applying aloe vera gel directly to the sore can help heal and reduce pain.

Preventive Measures:

    • Avoiding Certain Foods: Steering clear of acidic or spicy foods that can trigger or worsen sores.
    • Maintaining Oral Hygiene: Implementing a routine of regular brushing and flossing is paramount. Opting for a soft-bristled toothbrush and selecting toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate can contribute significantly to oral well-being.
    • Stress Management: Recognizing the role of stress as a potential trigger for canker sores underscores the importance of engaging in stress-reducing activities. Incorporating stress management techniques into one’s lifestyle can mitigate the likelihood of canker sore occurrences.
    • Nutritional Supplements: Addressing nutritional deficiencies is crucial, and taking supplements for essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid, or iron can be beneficial. This approach is particularly relevant for individuals with identified nutritional gaps, offering a targeted strategy to support oral health.


In conclusion, putting salt on canker sores can be a helpful remedy for their quick and effective healing. Applying salt directly on the sore area creates an environment that promotes rapid healing by reducing inflammation, soothing pain, and preventing further infections. However, it is important to use salt in moderation and ensure it does not cause excessive irritation to the surrounding tissues. As with any home remedy, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.


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Canker sore – MedlinePlus


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