10 Best Essential Oils For Canker Sores

essential oils for canker sores

The human body is uniquely created. The entire body gets affected if a single part of the body faces the problem. Such an issue increases manifold in case a softer part of the body such as our mouth is affected. Imagine a situation where you have a cut in your mouth, would you be comfortable? Of course, not. Then a canker sore in the mouth can create havoc. The mere thought of such a sore can give us a cold chill up our spines. But do not worry; using essential oils for canker sores can work wonder. Read the following article to know the list of best essential oils for canker sores and tips to use the essential oils.

What Are Canker Sores?

Canker sores are nothing but the painful mouth ulcers which we all have often suffered from some time or the other. Such mouth ulcers are also referred to as aphthous ulcers. Such canker sores are usually shallow lesions that are usually located around the soft tissues in the mouth, especially near the base of the gum. Thus, such canker sores can give a painful time while eating or drinking, and even when we try to speak.

However, one must remember that a canker sore is different from a cold sore (these are merely red colored blisters occurring usually on the outer side of the lips and around the facial region). The basic difference between the two is that cold sores are contagious and any individual can get affected when in contact with an affected person. Canker sores are not contagious and following some home remedies like applying essential oils for canker sores can mostly get rid of the problem.

Canker sores can occur one at a time or can also invade our mouth as a cluster. Immediate treatment though can cure such sores easily. In fact, knowing the symptoms of such canker sores, such as few people experience a tinge or a burning sensation at least 24 hours before the actual sore affects our peace of mind. Usually, such sores have small life and cure thereafter (such sores can heal within 1-2 weeks automatically). However certain quick remedies like applying essential oil for canker sore can provide instant relief.

Types Of Canker Sores

The painful canker sores can happen anywhere within the mouth including below the tongue, inner walls of the cheeks and lips, or at the base of gums. Mostly such sores appear to be round or oval in shape while having a white or yellow center with a red border. Such canker sores can be of the following three types;

1. Minor Sores

This is the most common kind of sores which have the following three features;

  • Small in size
  • Usually oval in shape with a red outline
  • These tend to get healed automatically without leaving any scars within a time period of 1-2 weeks.

2. Major Sores

Chances of getting such sores are comparatively lesser. These sores have the following features;

  • Are both bigger and deeper as compared to minor sores
  • Are usually round in shape but such shape can be irregular when sores are very large in size
  • Have defined borders
  • Are usually quite painful
  • Generally, take about six weeks to heal
  • Can leave scars

3. Herpetiform Sores

Such sores are quite uncommon. These sores might develop during the later years of an individual’s life. The sores, though the name sounds so, are not usually caused by herpes virus infection. The identifying features of these sores include;

  • Usually pinpointed in size
  • Generally occurs as a cluster of 10-100 sores which at times might merge into a large ulcer
  • Edges are irregular
  • Healing within a week or two, that too without scarring

Causes Of Canker Sores

Canker sores can happen to anyone irrespective of their age and gender. While researches have yet not pinpointed on one specific reason or cause leading to such painful sores, some possible causes which might result in canker sores include;

  • Increased levels of stress
  • Poor dietary pattern
  • Certain allergic reaction especially due to the consumption of some specific class of food items such as highly spicy or acidic foods
  • Consuming food lacking in iron, folic acid or Vitamin B12 on a regular basis
  • Consuming extremely hot food
  • Genetic build-up (in case parents or some other related family member suffered/suffers from such sores)
  • Hormonal issues (according to researches, women are more likely to develop such sores especially during their menstrual cycles)
  • Certain illnesses, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Celiac disease, Behcet’s disease or health conditions where the immune system of the individuals are compromised.
  • Use of products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate such as mouthwash or toothpaste.
  • Irregular or rough brushing of teeth and use of braces or dentures
  • External injury especially near the mouth
  • Due to the presence of Helicobacter pylori (the bacteria are known to cause peptic ulcers)

10 Essential Oils For Canker Sores

Though canker sores get healed automatically with or without leaving scars, there are certain quick remedies such as using essential oil for canker sores which can provide instant relief while reducing the time required for healing canker sores on the tongue and inside the mouth.

Some of the best essential oils for mouth ulcers or canker sores include;

1. Thieves Oil

This oil is a blend of various essential oils such as clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiate, and rosemary cineol. Thieves oil helps in relieving the pain of canker sores while healing the sores faster. This oil also helps in boosting the immunity system of the individuals.

2. Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil For Canker Sores

Coconut oil is rich in antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Using coconut oil for canker sores works wonders by reducing swelling and inflammation. This oil is also beneficial in managing infections arising out of the sores. A teaspoonful of this oil simply needs to be taken in the mouth and swished around the mouth for about 15 to 20 minutes.

[Also Read: Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil Pulling]

3. Wild Oregano Oil

This particular oil is known for its anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. The use of this oil, though might feel a little uncomfortable due to the intense heat sensation created by its use (though such sensation subsides within 2 minutes), would help in curing the sore almost immediately. A drop of this oil can be directly used on the sore and left for at least ten minutes. The same process should be repeated until the sore is gone (a maximum of two to three applications might seem to be enough).

4. Clove Oil

This particular essential oil is the most effective treatment for canker sores. The numbing sensation of this oil helps in curing the sores in a rather relaxing way apart from giving temporary relief to the pain too.

5. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil helps in numbing the pain of canker sores apart from killing any bacteria present in and around the wound because of its exceptional antibacterial properties. One to two drops of the oil needs to be directly applied to the sores. However, while the direct application would help in faster healing, the individuals should make sure not to ingest the oil in any way.

[Also Read:: Tea tree oil for toothache]

6. Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil For Canker Sores

Lavender oil has immense antibacterial, analgesic, and antiseptic properties, this oil is the safest oil to relieve the pain of canker sores and healing the same.

7. Helichrysum Oil

Apply two to three drops of this oil directly on the sores and it will help in quicker healing.

8. Melissa Oil

Also known as Lemon Balm Oil, this oil is considered to be the best natural treatment for canker sores because of its effective antibacterial properties. Few drops of this oil can be applied directly to canker sores for miraculous results.

9. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil For Canker Sores

This oil has tremendous anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The use of this oil on canker sores would prevent the chances of infection while the oil creates a numbing effect to reduce pain.

10. Eucalyptus Oil

This essential oil has been bestowed with various medicinal benefits. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits help in treating oral infections like canker sores well.

[Also Read: Benefits Of Using Eucalyptus]


Some other essential oils and natural ingredients which work wonders in treating canker sores include Niaouli Essential Oil, Melrose Essential Oil, Rosemary Tea, Sandalwood Essential Oil, Chamomile Tea Bags, and Manuka Honey. Canker Sores are treatable and essential oils work wonders in the treatment of canker sores.


Samarpita Mukherjee Roy

Samarpita is a dedicated freelance writer with avid experience in the space of health, education, diet, international relations, management, finance, and NRI settlement, among others. She specializes in topics related to diet, nutrition, immune-related diseases, detection and prevention of diseases and taking a natural route to cure such diseases.