Cold sores are not only unappealing, they are usually very painful and create a lot of discomfort. But the tiny blisters that are filled with fluid are not invincible. We’ve hand-picked some of the most efficient home remedies for cold sores inside mouth. While there is no real cure for a painful cold sore, every one of this remedies will help lessen the discomfort and help the wound clear up faster.
What causes cold sores inside the mouth?
These tiny ulcers can hinder speaking and talking. It’s important to make the distinction between canker sores and cold sores since most of the time the two are confused with each other. Cold sores are also called herpes simplex type 1 or fever blisters. They are painful, they are filled with fluid and highly contagious. They will show up on the mouth and around the lips. On the other hand, canker sores are not contagious and they are commonly caused by tissue injury and stress. Simple cold sores will pop up three to four times per year and linger for up to seven days. Complex cold sores are less frequent and will show up in patients who have dealt with them in the past.
Cold sores are caused by the HSV (herpes simplex virus). Type 1 HSV is the most frequent one while type 2 is less common. They can appear anywhere on the body. After the blister forms, it breaks and then starts oozing. The yellow crust is eventually replaced by the new skin, but the healing process can take up to ten days.
As many as 90% of people will develop a cold sore in their lives, with 40% of them experiencing repeated cold sores. Generally, cold sores are only uncomfortable and don’t pose any serious risks. However, a weak immune system paired with a cold sore has been known to lead to encephalitis, meningitis or even blindness, in extreme cases.
Cold sores inside mouth treatment
Although you can’t get rid of cold sores in the mouth overnight, there are some steps you can take to alleviate the pain and make the healing process pass by easier. With some preventive measures, you might even be able to keep cold sores at bay or make them more bearable.
1. New toothbrush
One of the first steps you should take as soon as you get a cold sore in your mouth is to throw away your toothbrush and replace it with a brand new one. Keeping the same toothbrush could act as an enabler and help the cold sores spread throughout the mouth, delaying the healing process. Since cold sores are extremely contagious, your toothbrush is most likely carrying the virus that can re-trigger the outbreak in a couple of weeks.
2. Vanilla extract
Some patients who regularly suffer from cold sores swear by vanilla extract. This simple, yet efficient remedy won’t treat the blisters, but it will make it more difficult for the virus to thrive in the problem area. Alcohol based, vanilla extract will contain the outbreak and keep the blisters from spreading, speeding up the healing process at the same time. It’s recommended to use pure organic vanilla extract, in order to reap all the benefits it has to offer. To alleviate the cold sore inside mouth with this remedy, you’ll need a cotton pad or a cotton swab and vanilla extract. Soak the swab or pad in vanilla and apply it onto the cold sore. Firmly hold it in place for one or two minutes. You can repeat the process three to four times a day until you start seeing an improvement.
An unexpected home remedy for cold sores inside the mouth is licorice. Its healing properties are owed to the glycyrhizic acid, which is an active ingredient in the plant’s root. This has been found to prevent the virus cells from thriving. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of licorice have been shown to help with cold sores and speed up the healing process. Instead of munching on licorice root, you’ll want to use root extract or powder for a topical application. Mix one tablespoon of the powder with half a teaspoon of water. Feel free to adjust the measurements in order to achieve the right consistency that you need. You can also mix licorice extract or powder with two teaspoons of petroleum jelly, which is also known for speeding up the healing process. Use a cotton swab to dab the mixture on your cold sore and get it completely covered in a thin layer.
The best thing about this home remedy for cold sores is that you won’t have to go out of your way to get your hands on it since you probably already have it in your fridge. Milk is efficient for cold sores because it comprises immunoglobulins, a type of antibodies that will combat viruses, including herpes and will keep it at bay. Milk is also efficient because it contains l-lysine. This inhibits the advancement of arginine, an amino acid that enables outbreaks. Drinking whole milk can be an incredibly easy way to prevent new outbreaks. If you’re already dealing with an eruption, make a milk compress to allow the active ingredients do their job faster. Soak a cotton ball in one tablespoon of milk and keep it on the cold sore for as long as you can, preferably up to three minutes.
5. Peppermint oil
This essential oil is beneficial because it has unique properties that kill virus particles that float around a cold sore. Since the herpes simplex virus lurks underneath the skin and waits for a trigger, peppermint can come in handy and help the cold sore inside the mouth heal faster. You will need high-quality peppermint oil and a cotton swab for dabbing the remedy on the problem area. Rinse your mouth with water before applying the oil. Then, take your cotton swab and apply the oil generously. Try keeping the cotton swab in place for several minutes and wait before rinsing for at least ten minutes. This should give the peppermint oil enough time to sink in and start working on healing the sore.
Echinacea is already very well known for boosting the immune system and keeping common colds at bay. The anti-inflammatory properties of Echinacea can also help with treating cold sore inside the mouth. Choose a high quality, organic Echinacea tea so that you can reap all its benefits. Steep a tea bag for ten minutes and sip the warm tea. Don’t drink it while it’s still hot, since it can affect the problem areas that are already sensitive. You can also use the tea bag for topical application once it cools down. Simply hold the tea bag on the problem area for a few minutes or as long as it’s comfortable.
7. Aloe Vera
The universal remedy for skin irritations and sores, aloe vera gel can combat bacteria and calm down pain. The easiest way to use this remedy is to have your own aloe vera plant. This way, you have access to the fresh gel any time you might need it, simply by breaking up a leaf and collecting the gel. Alternatively, aloe vera gel can be bought from organic stores. This remedy involves dabbing the gel on the cold sore inside the mouth using a cotton swab. Leave it on and allow it to work its magic. Its calming properties will soothe any irritation and help speed up the process.
8.Vitamin C and Vitamin E
If you’re looking for a remedy that does not imply topical application or medicine, you can load up on these two vitamins. Vitamin C will boost the count of white blood cells, enabling the body to better defend itself against viruses like HSV. Vitamin E relieves irritation and assuages painful areas. At the same time, vitamin E minimizes scarring and speeds up the healing process. You can get more of these vitamins through oral supplements or by loading up on certain foods. For a Vitamin E boost, incorporate more avocados, leafy green vegetables, nuts and whole grains in your daily meal plans. To get more Vitamin C in your body, stock up on tomatoes, broccoli, red berries, bell peppers, kiwi, and spinach.
9. Orange juice
Most of the times, the primary cause for a cold sore in the mouth is vitamin C deficiency. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C helps with the common cold, plays an important role in the good functioning of the immune system, can help with cardiovascular diseases and skin conditions. High in vitamin C, orange juice is one of the best allies to combat cold sores. The best part is that orange juice is hardly a remedy. With a pleasant, refreshing taste, it’s rather a pleasure to drink freshly squeezed orange juice three to four times a day.
10. Coconut milk
Another home remedy for cold sores inside mouth is coconut milk. Rich in calcium, iron, selenium, magnesium, vitamin B1 and C, coconut milk has antibacterial and antiviral abilities that will help calm down cold sores. Coconut milk can be used on its own several times a day. Swish it around in your mouth for a few seconds for best results. You can also create a mixture of a tablespoon of coconut milk and some honey to make a thick paste. This can be applied topically and left on the problem area overnight.