What to Eat for Canker Sores

Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, can be quite uncomfortable and painful. These small, shallow lesions that form on the soft tissues inside the mouth can make eating and speaking difficult. While canker sores typically heal on their own within a couple of weeks, there are certain foods that can help alleviate the discomfort and speed up the healing process.

1. Soft Foods: Opt for soft, easy-to-chew foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and smoothies. These foods are gentle on the mouth and won’t aggravate the sores.

2. Cold Foods: Cold foods like ice cream or popsicles can provide relief by numbing the area around the canker sores.

3. Salty Water Rinse: Rinse your mouth two to three times a day with warm saltwater. This can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

4. Aloe Vera Juice: Drinking aloe vera juice can help soothe the canker sores and may promote faster healing.

5. Honey: Applying a small amount of honey directly onto the canker sores can help alleviate pain and speed up the healing process.

6. Vitamin B12: Incorporate foods rich in vitamin B12, such as fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products. This vitamin is essential for oral health and can promote faster healing of canker sores.

7. Avoid Trigger Foods: Spicy and acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and hot sauces, can irritate canker sores. Avoiding these foods can help prevent further discomfort.


1. Can canker sores be caused by certain foods?
While certain foods may trigger canker sores in some individuals, the exact cause is not well understood. It is believed to be a combination of factors, including genetics, stress, and a weakened immune system.

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2. Should I avoid brushing my teeth if I have a canker sore?
It is important to continue practicing good oral hygiene, but be gentle while brushing around the area of the canker sore to avoid irritation.

3. Can I use over-the-counter medications for canker sores?
Over-the-counter medications, such as gels or mouth rinses containing benzocaine, can provide temporary pain relief. However, consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication.

4. How long do canker sores usually last?
Canker sores typically heal within one to two weeks, but larger or more severe ones may take longer.

5. Are canker sores contagious?
No, canker sores are not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.

6. Can stress worsen canker sores?
Stress can be a triggering factor for canker sores in some individuals. Managing stress through relaxation techniques or counseling may help prevent or reduce outbreaks.

7. When should I consult a healthcare professional?
If the canker sores are severe, persist for more than two weeks, or are accompanied by other symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment options.