Best Essential Oils For Canker Sores | Immediate Pain Relief From Mouth Ulcers


When it comes to dealing with the discomfort and pain of canker sores, many individuals seek natural remedies that can provide relief. Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are small, shallow lesions that form on the soft tissues inside your mouth.

These pesky sores can make talking, eating, and even smiling a painful experience. Fortunately, there is a natural and effective solution that can help alleviate the discomfort associated with canker sores – essential oils.

Essential oil acts as a natural remedy for treating painful canker sores or ulcers in the mouth. 

Understanding Canker Sores Or Mouth Ulcers

Before delving into the world of essential oils and their potential benefits for canker sores, let’s take a moment to understand what these oral ulcers are all about. Canker sores are painful, round, or oval sores that develop on the inside of the cheeks, lips, tongue, and soft palate. They can be white or yellow in the center with a red border, making them quite distinctive.

Canker sores can be caused by a variety of factors. Following are some of the causes of mouth ulcers: 

  1. Trauma: Accidentally biting your lip or cheek can lead to the formation of canker sores.
  2. Stress: High levels of stress can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to these painful sores.
  3. Diet: Consuming acidic foods or spicy foods can irritate the mouth and trigger canker sores.
  4. Nutritional Deficiencies: A lack of essential nutrients like vitamin B12, zinc, or iron can contribute to their development.
  5. Hormonal Changes: Some individuals may experience mouth sores during hormonal fluctuations.

Now that we have a better understanding of what canker sores are and what causes them let’s explore how essential oils can provide relief.

Best Essential Oils For Canker Sores

Essential oils have gained immense popularity for their therapeutic properties in recent years. These concentrated extracts derived from various plant sources have been used for centuries for their healing and soothing abilities. When it comes to canker sores, several essential oils stand out for their potential to alleviate discomfort and promote faster healing.

1. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically to a canker sore, it can help reduce pain and swelling. Its soothing scent can also help alleviate stress, a common trigger for these oral ulcers.

2. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil is known for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It can help prevent infection in canker sores, reducing the risk of complications. Remember to dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil before applying it to your mouth to avoid irritation.

3. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil has a cooling effect that can provide instant relief from the burning sensation of canker sores. It also possesses mild analgesic properties, making it an excellent choice for easing pain. A few drops of this essential oil can promote faster healing of cold sores. 

4. Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile oil is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and calming effects. Applying chamomile oil to a canker sore can reduce redness and discomfort, helping you heal more quickly and relieve canker sore pain. 

5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus oil is known for its ability to numb pain and provide a refreshing sensation. It can be especially helpful for canker sores that make eating and speaking painful. A few drops of eucalyptus oil can go a long way in soothing a painful mouth. 

6. Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil has natural analgesic properties and can help alleviate the pain associated with canker sores. It also has antibacterial properties that can promote healing and restrict the growth of bacteria in your mouth. A few drops of clove oil go a long way in treating mouth ulcers. It is also used in treatment for various dental problems. 

7. Thieves Essential Oil

Thieves oil is a blend of essential oils, including clove, lemon, cinnamon, and eucalyptus oils. This combination can help reduce pain and inflammation while also preventing infection.

8. Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano oil is known for its potent antimicrobial properties. It can help kill bacteria in and around canker sores, promoting faster healing. Dab a few drops of diluted oregano oil on your sores for quick relief. 

9. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon oil has antiseptic properties and can help disinfect canker sores. It also has a pleasant citrus scent.

10. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce swelling and pain in canker sores. The oil also contains antiseptic properties that help restrict any further contamination inside the mouth. 

11. Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot oil has both analgesic and antiseptic properties, making it effective in reducing pain and preventing infection. Bergamot is also used as an anti-stress essential oil to treat ulcers caused by stress. 

12. Myrtle Essential Oil

Myrtle oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a valuable addition to your canker sore relief toolkit.

13. Sage Essential Oil

Sage oil is another essential oil that is important for treating mouth sores or sore throat. It has soothing properties that can help alleviate discomfort and promote healing in canker sores naturally.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Essential Oils For Mouth Ulcers?

Using essential oils for canker sores can offer several benefits due to the natural healing properties of these oils. Here are some of the advantages of incorporating essential oils into your canker sore treatment:

1. Pain Relief 

Many essential oils, such as peppermint, clove, and lavender, possess analgesic properties. When applied topically, they can help get rid of canker sore pain and discomfort associated with canker sores. Their natural numbing effect can provide immediate relief, making it easier to eat, speak, and go about your daily activities.

2. Anti-Inflammatory 

Canker sores often come with inflammation and redness. Essential oils like chamomile, rosemary, and myrtle have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation, swelling, and redness around the sore. This not only eases discomfort but also promotes faster healing.

3. Antimicrobial and Antiseptic 

Essential oils, such as tea tree oil, oregano oil, and Thieves oil blend, have potent antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. They can help prevent infection in canker sores and reduce the risk of complications. Keeping the area clean and free from harmful bacteria is crucial for the healing process.

4. Stress Reduction 

Stress is a common trigger for canker sores. Essential oils like lavender and bergamot are known for their calming and stress-reducing effects. By reducing stress levels, these oils may help prevent the recurrence of canker sores in individuals prone to stress-induced outbreaks.

5. Healing Promotion 

Several essential oils, including lemon, eucalyptus, and sage, can promote the healing of canker sores. They support the body’s natural healing processes, helping the ulcers to resolve more quickly.

6. Natural and Non-Toxic 

Essential oils are derived from plant sources and are generally considered safe when used properly. Unlike some over-the-counter medications, they do not contain harsh chemicals or artificial additives. This makes them a natural and non-toxic option for canker sore relief.

7. Customizable and Versatile 

Essential oils offer a wide range of options, allowing you to customize your treatment based on your preferences and specific needs. You can blend different oils to create a personalized remedy that works best for you.

8. Easy Application

Applying essential oils to canker sores is a straightforward process. You can use a cotton swab or your fingertip to gently apply the diluted oil directly to the sore. This ease of application makes it a convenient choice for at-home remedies.

It’s important to note that while essential oils can be effective for canker sore relief, they should be used with care. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil to prevent irritation, and do a patch test if you have sensitive skin. If you experience any adverse reactions or if your canker sores persist or worsen, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance. Always remember that essential oils should complement, not replace, any prescribed medical treatments or recommendations.

Different Ways To Treat Canker Sores Using Essential Oils

1. Topical Application

  • Dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil, olive oil, or sweet almond oil) to reduce its potency and prevent irritation.
  • Use a clean cotton swab or your fingertip to apply the diluted oil directly to the canker sore.
  • Reapply as needed for pain relief and healing.

2. Mouthwash/Rinse

  • Add a few drops of essential oil (e.g., tea tree oil or Thieves oil blend) to a cup of warm water.
  • Use this mixture as a mouthwash, swishing it in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
  • Spit out the solution and rinse your mouth with plain water. This can help prevent infection and reduce pain.

3. Gels and Ointments

  • Mix essential oils with aloe vera gel or a natural lip balm base to create a soothing gel or ointment.
  • Apply the gel or ointment to the canker sore for pain relief and healing. The gel can also provide a protective barrier.

4. Compress

  • Steep a chamomile tea bag in hot water for a few minutes.
  • Remove the tea bag and let it cool slightly.
  • Add a few drops of chamomile essential oil to the brewed tea.
  • Soak a clean cotton ball or gauze pad in the chamomile mixture.
  • Place the soaked cotton ball or gauze pad on the canker sore for a few minutes to soothe and promote healing.

5. Oil Pulling

  • Mix a small amount of coconut oil with a drop of essential oil (e.g., tea tree oil or lavender oil).
  • Swish this mixture in your mouth for about 15 minutes before spitting it out.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water afterward. This can help reduce pain and inflammation.

6. Diffusion

  • Diffusing certain essential oils (e.g., lavender, bergamot, or lemon) in your living space can help reduce stress, which is a common trigger for canker sores.

7. DIY Mouthwash with Essential Oils

  • Create a homemade mouthwash by combining warm water with a few drops of essential oil (e.g., tea tree, peppermint, or Thieves blend).
  • Use this mouthwash to rinse your mouth daily for preventive purposes.

8. Custom Blends

  • Experiment with creating your own custom essential oil blends. Some oils may work better for you than others, so you can tailor the blend to your specific needs and preferences.

DIY Home Remedies For Canker Sores

Recipe #1 – Soothing Lavender and Coconut Oil Blend


  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil


  1. Mix the coconut oil and lavender essential oil in a small bowl.
  2. Apply a small amount of the mixture to the canker sore using a clean cotton swab.
  3. Reapply as needed for pain relief and healing.

Recipe #2 – Tea Tree Oil Mouth Rinse


  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil


  1. Mix the warm water and tea tree essential oil in a glass.
  2. Gargle with the solution for 30 seconds, making sure it reaches the affected area.
  3. Spit out the solution and rinse your mouth with plain water.
  4. Use this rinse 2-3 times a day to help prevent infection and reduce pain.

Recipe #3 – Peppermint Oil Cooling Gel


  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil


  1. Combine the aloe vera gel and peppermint essential oil in a small container.
  2. Mix well until you have a smooth gel.
  3. Apply a thin layer of the gel to the canker sore using a clean fingertip or cotton swab.
  4. Allow it to air dry.
  5. Reapply as needed for a cooling sensation and pain relief.

Recipe #4 – Chamomile Oil Compress


  • 1 chamomile tea bag
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 2-3 drops of chamomile essential oil


  1. Steep the chamomile tea bag in hot water for a few minutes.
  2. Remove the tea bag and let it cool slightly.
  3. Add the chamomile essential oil to the brewed tea.
  4. Soak a clean cotton ball or gauze pad in the chamomile mixture.
  5. Place the soaked cotton ball or gauze pad on the canker sore for a few minutes.
  6. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day for relief and healing.

Recipe #5 – Thieves Oil Blend Mouthwash


  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 2-3 drops of Thieves essential oil blend


  1. Mix the warm water and Thieves essential oil blend in a glass.
  2. Use it as a mouthwash, swishing the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds.
  3. Spit out the solution and rinse your mouth with plain water.
  4. Use this mouthwash 2-3 times a day to reduce pain and prevent infection.

Risks And Precautionary Measures

While essential oils can be beneficial for canker sore relief, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and take precautionary measures when using them. Here are some key considerations:


  1. Skin Sensitivity: Some individuals may have sensitive skin or may be allergic to certain essential oils. Before applying any essential oil to a canker sore, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to check for adverse reactions.
  2. Mucosal Irritation: Essential oils are highly concentrated, and applying them directly to canker sores without proper dilution can cause further irritation and discomfort. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil to reduce their potency.
  3. Ingestion: Swallowing essential oils is not recommended unless under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. Ingesting essential oils can lead to digestive issues, poisoning, or other health complications.
  4. Overuse: Using essential oils excessively or too frequently can lead to skin irritation or sensitization over time. Follow the recommended guidelines for usage.
  5. Not Suitable for Children: Some essential oils are not safe for use in children or infants. Always check the safety guidelines for each oil, and consult a pediatrician before using essential oils on children.
  6. Drug Interactions: Certain essential oils can interact with medications you may be taking. If you are on medication, consult your healthcare provider before using essential oils to ensure there are no contraindications.

Precautionary Measures:

  1. Dilution: Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil (e.g., coconut oil, olive oil) before applying them topically. A general guideline is to use 1-3 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
  2. Patch Test: Perform a patch test by applying a diluted essential oil to a small area of skin, such as the inner forearm, to check for skin sensitivity or allergies before using it on canker sores.
  3. Proper Application: Use a clean cotton swab, fingertip, or sterile applicator to apply the diluted essential oil to the canker sore. Avoid using your fingernails or other sharp objects that may cause additional injury.
  4. Limited Application: Apply essential oils sparingly to canker sores. Two to three times a day is generally sufficient for relief and healing.
  5. Oral Use: Do not ingest essential oils without professional guidance. Swallowing essential oils can be harmful.
  6. Children and Infants: Be cautious when using essential oils around children and infants. Some oils are not suitable for them, and the dilution ratio should be even more conservative.
  7. Consult a Professional: If you experience adverse reactions or if your canker sores do not improve with essential oil treatment, consult a healthcare professional or dentist for proper evaluation and treatment.
  8. Storage: Store essential oils in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and out of reach of children and pets.
  9. Quality Matters: Purchase high-quality, pure essential oils from reputable sources to ensure safety and effectiveness.

By following these precautionary measures and being mindful of potential risks, you can safely and effectively use essential oils to manage canker sores. If in doubt or if you encounter any unexpected reactions, seek medical advice promptly.


Essential oils are natural products that can be used to treat mouth ulcers. Essential oil contains properties like antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, etc., that help in healing canker sores. Canker sores can be incredibly uncomfortable, but with the natural healing power of essential oils, you can find relief and promote faster healing.

Different essential oils, such as lavender, tea tree, and peppermint oil, offer distinct benefits for oral discomfort. To use the oil effectively, it’s essential to dilute it with carrier oil and apply it directly to the canker sore. With a wide range of oils available, you can customize your treatment to suit your needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do any essential oils help with canker sores?

Yes, essential oils like lavender, tea tree, peppermint, chamomile, eucalyptus, clove, thieves, oregano, lemon, rosemary, bergamot, myrtle, and sage oils can help with canker sores.

What essential oil can I put on a canker sore?

Essential oils like lavender, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, chamomile, clove, lemon, rosemary, are some of the common oils that can be used on canker sores. 

Can you put lavender essential oil on canker sore?

Yes, lavender oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the pain and swelling of the canker sores.

How do you make a canker sore heal overnight?

There is no overnight treatment for canker sores, but regular use of natural remedies like salt and baking soda, and essential oils might help heal canker sores rapidly.

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