How to Get Rid of a Canker Sore in 24 Hours?

How to Get Rid of a Canker Sore in 24 Hours

Have you ever experienced that annoying, painful sore inside your mouth that seems to linger for days? Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, can be a real nuisance, making eating, drinking, and even talking uncomfortable. While they typically resolve on their own within a week or two, finding relief sooner rather than later is often a top priority. If you’re wondering how to get rid of a canker sore in 24 hours, you’ve come to the right place.

While it’s not always possible to make them disappear completely overnight, there are several methods you can try to speed up the healing process and alleviate discomfort.

Understanding Canker Sores

Before diving into remedies, let’s first understand what canker sores are and what causes them. Canker sores are shallow ulcers that form on the soft tissues inside your mouth, such as the inside of your lips, cheeks, or on your tongue. They are different from cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus and typically appear on the lips or around the mouth.

The exact cause of canker sores is not fully understood, but factors such as stress, injury to the mouth tissues, acidic or spicy foods, hormonal changes, and certain underlying health conditions like vitamin deficiencies or autoimmune diseases can trigger their development. While they are not contagious, they can be quite painful and may interfere with daily activities like eating and speaking.

How to Get Rid of a Canker Sore in 24 Hours?

While there’s no magic cure for canker sores, there are several home remedies and over-the-counter treatments that may help alleviate symptoms and speed up the healing process. Here are some tips to try:

  • Saltwater Rinse

One of the simplest and most effective home remedies for canker sores is a saltwater rinse. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth with it for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat this several times a day, especially after meals and before bedtime. Saltwater helps reduce inflammation, cleanses the sore, and promotes healing.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Another option is to use a hydrogen peroxide rinse. Mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water, then swish it around in your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. Be sure not to swallow the solution. Hydrogen peroxide has antiseptic properties that can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and promote healing.

  • Over-the-Counter Products

There are several over-the-counter products specifically designed to treat canker sores, such as topical gels, creams, and patches. Look for products containing ingredients like benzocaine, which can numb the area and provide temporary pain relief, or ingredients like hydrocortisone or corticosteroids, which can help reduce inflammation. Follow the instructions on the product label for best results.

  • Avoid Irritants

To prevent further irritation and promote healing, avoid foods and substances that can irritate the sore, such as acidic or spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, and rough or crunchy foods like chips and crackers. Also, try to avoid chewing gum and using toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate, as these can aggravate the sore.

  • Maintain Oral Hygiene

Keeping your mouth clean is essential for preventing infection and promoting healing. Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use a mild, alcohol-free mouthwash to rinse your mouth. Avoid brushing directly over the sore to prevent further irritation.

  • Try Natural Remedies

Some people find relief from canker sores by using natural remedies such as aloe vera gel, honey, or coconut oil. These substances have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and promote healing. Apply a small amount directly to the sore several times a day.

  • Manage Stress

Stress is a common trigger for canker sores, so finding ways to manage stress levels may help prevent future outbreaks. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or tai chi. Getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet can also help reduce stress levels.

When to See a Doctor?

While most canker sores will heal on their own within a week or two, there are times when you should seek medical attention:

  • If the sore is unusually large or persists for more than two weeks
  • If you experience severe pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter remedies
  • If you develop a fever or swollen lymph nodes
  • If you have recurrent outbreaks of canker sores

Your doctor may prescribe medication to help alleviate symptoms and prevent future outbreaks, or they may recommend further evaluation if they suspect an underlying health condition.


Dealing with a canker sore can be uncomfortable, but there are steps you can take to speed up the healing process and alleviate symptoms. While getting rid of a canker sore in 24 hours may not always be possible, following these tips can help reduce pain and promote faster healing. Remember to practice good oral hygiene, avoid irritants, and manage stress to help prevent future outbreaks. If you’re unsure about how to treat your canker sore or if it persists despite home remedies, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a healthcare professional. With the right approach, you can find relief from canker sores and get back to enjoying life without discomfort.

Written by Amy Fischer

Amy, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Lab, brings a wealth of expertise to nutrition, health content, and product testing. With a journalism degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master's in clinical nutrition from NYU, she's a versatile expert. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, Amy worked as a cardiac transplant dietitian at a prominent NYC hospital and contributed to clinical nutrition textbooks. Her background also includes PR and marketing work with food startups.

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