Q. My husband has canker sores in his mouth all the time. The doctors he has seen say there’s no cure, so he has to live with it. What can you recommend? He has tried many topical remedies, plus some prescription drugs, but he is not sleeping well due to the pain. How can he get relief?

A. Readers report that fresh kiwi fruit can be helpful. Here’s another reader’s remedy: “Sauerkraut juice has worked like a miracle for me! It starts clearing up a canker sore within hours, and the sore usually healed by the next day. One caveat, though: juice from canned sauerkraut doesn't work nearly as well as the fresh stuff (in the refrigerated deli section).

“It's such a weird remedy that I did some research on sauerkraut to see why it might work. Sauerkraut is fermented (like yogurt or sourdough) and is full of probiotics. I've discovered that if I sip a little sauerkraut juice every couple of days I don't develop canker sores in the first place.”

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  1. DDG
    Reply

    Dexamethasone 0.5mg/5ml Elixir will clear it right up within a day. I had been getting mouth sores to the point of not being able drink water. I had seen many Doctors, Dentists, and Specialists. Finally I found one that had a family member with the same problem and this Elixir to work. It requires a prescription, just swish a few drops (1/4 teaspoon ish) around in the mouth and the sores will go away within the day. It saved my life.

  2. SHB
    Reply

    I agree that Lysine works very well.

  3. Barb L.
    Reply

    I use to suffer from canker sore all the time until 8 years ago when I started taking red raspberry leaves in supplement form daily. I never get canker sores anymore.

  4. KM
    Reply

    I take echinacea as soon as I get the sensitivity indicating a sore is coming on. If I start taking it immediately it never breaks out into an open sore. If it’s already broken out, the echinacea shortens the duration. I’ve also noticed that I often have acne when I get a canker sore, they seem to be related. I’ll take echinacea when my acne acts up and it heals that as well.

  5. ann b.
    Reply

    I used to have canker sores all the time and then I read one of your articles about sodium larenth (?) in toothpaste. I search around and found a toothpaste that did not contain that ingredient. I started using Biotene toothpaste and I have not had a canker sore since I started using this product. It also reduces dry mouth and bacteria.

  6. SDW
    Reply

    I have discovered that eating food with white sugar and/or candy will give me canker sores. As long as I avoid them, no problem.

  7. dk
    Reply

    Lysine worked for me and a lady friend.

  8. MJD
    Reply

    I started brushing my teeth with baking soda and peroxide toothpaste and now I rarely get a canker sore.

  9. RS
    Reply

    My daughter had canker sores from childhood until she also found at the age of 35 that she had celiac. A gluten-free diet cured her.

  10. CC
    Reply

    CREAM OF TARTAR HAS WORKED FOR ME FOR YEARS. PUT SOME ON THE SORE BEFORE GOING TO BED. IN TWO OR THREE DAYS THE CANKER SORE WILL BE GONE.

  11. J. Benson
    Reply

    I also used to have continuous, terrible canker sores. What I discovered was that they were caused by my toothpaste, and since you brush your teeth daily, it was a never ending cycle. Switching brands made an immediate difference. There is an ingredient in all the name brand toothpastes (sodium laurel sulfate – I believe) that can cause problems for sensitive people. I now buy my toothpaste at health food stores (you can find it with flouride and whiteners just like name brands) and almost never have canker sores anymore. It is always better to eliminate the problem rather than treat the symptoms, so you might want to give this a try. Can’t hurt.

  12. P C Till
    Reply

    If these are the little boil-type sores inside the mouth, I had so many of them, that hurt so bad, I was literally drooling. I went to a Dr. and he told me to take Milk of Magnesia Tablets–that my (bowel?) was acting up. I took them and within 12 hours the pain was gone, but the sores remained for a day or 2. It was amazing.

  13. Randy K.
    Reply

    My grandfather told me how to get rid of canker sores or cold sores with a natural remedy… Earwax! just take your finger and swab the inside of your ear and rub the spot thats infected. I have not had either sores in over 30 years! Sounds gross but it works.

  14. Art B.
    Reply

    I had continuous canker sores my whole life until at age 80 I discovered I had Celiac disease (another story).
    Since going to a gluten-free diet I have not had even one canker sore. A gluten-free diet also almost totally eliminated acid reflux for me.

  15. EM
    Reply

    I found bioflavinoids the best as anything. Bioflavinoids are found in skins of citrus and need to be indigested with Vit. C. It is a co-enzyme that strengthens capillary walls. No cancer sores after taking Vit. C with bioflavinoids (can be found in some drug stores) doesn’t advertise on front, read ingredients. I also bruise easily and much decrease in bruising when using.

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