How To Use Essential Oils For Canker Sores

When you hear the word “canker sore”, you might be panicking.

Anyone who has suffered from canker sores knows how challenging, irritating, and debilitating they can be.

Just imagine pain striking every time you try to talk or eat.

Found in the soft tissue of the base of the gums, canker sores are simply painful ulcers.

Some even call them mouth ulcers.

But the good news is that there are some essential oils that can really help take the pain away [1]

What are the symptoms of canker sores?

Truth be told, it is easy to notice canker sores.

The moment you start experiencing pain, you know it.

But sometimes they show up alone, and sometimes they come in a cluster.

If you want to get quick relief, you need to recognize the symptoms first:

  • Before a canker sore pops up, you might experience tingling or burning sensation in your mouth. This happens 24 hours before the canker sores appear
  • The sores make it difficult to eat and drink, and some people even find it difficult to talk. This happens because your teeth will rub up against the wound
  • A red bump will appear in your mouth, and after a day or two, the bump will burst leaving a shallow wound behind
  • In some rare cases, people also experience fever, swollen lymph nodes, and feeling of sluggishness

If the symptoms continue for three weeks, you should contact your physician or dentist.

Difference between canker sores and cold sores

In some cases, people mistake cold sores with canker sores.

In order to successfully treat the condition, you must get an accurate diagnosis and make the difference between the two.

For starters, cold sores are small red blisters that can appear on the outside of the lip and the facial region [2]

And unlike canker sores, cold sores are contagious and result of a herpes simplex virus type 1 infection.

Being that they are not contagious, you cannot get canker sores from a contact with another person.

And more often than not, canker sores heal up on their own within a week or two.

But if you like to speed up the process, essential oils will definitely help.

Causes of canker sores

There is not a clear cause of canker sores.

Health experts have their theories and explanations.

But they cannot find a clear cause.

They have, however, identified a couple of situations and risk factors.

Those are the following:

  • Poor diet can sometimes cause a cluster or canker sores, especially if your diet does not include B12 vitamins. A diet low in iron can also contribute to canker sores
  • Speaking of food, eating hot food can cause trauma to the soft tissue of the mouth and result in a canker sore
  • Stress and canker sores are often linked, and if a canker sore pops up the same time you are experiencing high levels of anxiety, you’ll know the reason
  • Allergies are another common cause, manifesting when you consume foods you are allergic to
  • While canker sores are not contagious, genetics can play a role. If your parents suffered from canker sores, chances you will as well
  • Illnesses that reduce your immune system can often result in canker sores appearing in your mouth
  • Rough tooth brushing can cause bleeding gums, and lead to canker sores. Make sure to go easy on your teeth
  • Being hit in the mouth as an accident can sometimes result in canker sores, as your soft tissue is affected
  • Last, but not least, the gender plays a role, as women are as twice as likely to get canker sores

Now that we know what causes and the symptoms, let’s talk about some essential oils that help with canker sores.

Essential oils for canker sores

Essential Oils For Canker Sores

Wild oregano

Wild oregano is one of the best essential oils for this purpose as it has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties.

All of those help clear up the canker sores.

It is worth mentioning that wild oregano can cause fairly intense heat sensation upon application [3]

But the sensation will go away within a minute or two.

Apply a drop of wild oregano onto the sore and leave it stay there for 10 minutes.

Continue with two or more treatments until the sore is gone.

Clove oil

Clove oil acts as a numbing agent that can provide relief for the pain caused by canker sores.

Same as with wild oregano, you might experience initial burning sensation after application.

The feeling will go away within a minute.

Clove oil is useful as it also helps the affected area heal up afterwards [4]

Using clove oil can help you get rid of canker sores within 24 hours.

Tea tree oil

While fantastic for treating canker sores and pain, tea tree oil has to be diluted.

Do not forget that.

Its strong antibacterial properties will help with the pain and infection [5]

Mix a drop or two of tea tree oil with water or a carrier oil, and then apply to the affected area.

Be careful not to ingest any of the oil.


In addition to helping you heal the spot, lavender will reduce the stress causing it [6]

Lavender has analgesic properties that help with the pain you might be feeling.

Lavender is considered very safe oil.


Another highly popular essential oil, peppermint can help prevent the chance of infection from the sore, and heal the area.

Peppermint will also provide great cooling actions that will numb the pain [7]

Eucalyptus essential oil

The wide range of eucalyptus oil includes treating canker sores.

The potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint help with treating oral infections [8]

Applying the oil will help with the pain, and prevent the likelihood of future repeat infections.

For a more potent solution, you can even combine eucalyptus and peppermint.


Made from a combination of four different essential oils, Melrose contains clove, rosemary, tea tree, and niaouli essential oils.

That powerful combination makes Melrose one of the best essential oils for canker sores.

Make sure to dilute the oil with a carrier oil before applying to the affected area.

You can also make a gargle with Melrose essential oil and water.

How do essential oils for canker sores work?

People are sometimes pessimistic that essential oils can help.

Looking at the properties of essential oils can answer some of your questions.

Essential oils contain antioxidants and other natural components that can be effective in treating many conditions.

In terms of canker sores, essential oils help by killing the bacteria causing canker sores, helping with inflammation, reducing your stress levels, balance the hormones, boost your immune system, destroy other germs causing canker sores, numb down acne, reduce redness, and numbing the pain.


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