Canker Sore on Lip: Causes, Contagious, Last, Pictures, Get Rid, Treat

How do you get canker sore on lip? Learn more about the causes, the contagious, how to get rid of it and treatment.

What is the difference between a Cold Sore and a Canker Sore

Canker sore and a cold sore are two ailments that look almost similar. Both of the infection affects the same location and their symptoms also look alike. You can easily get confused and find it very difficult to tell the type of the infection you are suffering from.
Canker sores are small, grey ulcers that has red border that appears inside the mouth. Canker sore may also appear on the lips, inside the cheeks, on tongue and also at the throat. Most medical experts believe that the infection is caused by bacteria or virus that attacks body immune system.
On the other hand, cold sores are tiny blisters that appear on the lips, on nostrils and sometimes inside the mouth. Cold sore comes as a result of herpes simplex virus that is very contagious and remains in body system for long period of time.
Look on the table below that shows clear difference between a cold sore and canker sore.

                          Canker sore           Cold sore
1.       No clearly defined causes can be triggered by stress, fatigue, change of body hormones or trauma on the mouth. Caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Outbreak can be triggered by stress, fatigue, injuries on the lips or exposure to sunlight.
2.       It appears inside the mouth and on gums. Appears mostly outside the mouth, on lips and nostrils.
3.       Not contagious. Highly contagious, herpes virus can spread from active blisters to infect other people.
4.       Heals within a period one week. Takes more than one week to be healed.

How do you get Canker Sore

Have you ever been attacked by a canker sore on your mouth? How did you get the infection?  The truth is, canker sore has no specific cause but can affect anybody. You can have high risk of getting a canker sore on lip if your family has history of canker sores.
Canker sore on lip can appear to anyone at any age. Simple canker sore usually affect individual of age group of 10 to 20 years. Young individual are more susceptible of getting canker sore. Complex canker sore on lip may appear at any age.
You can get canker sore if you are exposed to some of predisposing factors that causes canker sores. These risk factors include the following:

  • Stress
  • Food allergies
  • Change of body hormones
  • Mineral and vitamin deficiency
  • Injuries on mouth
  • Weakened immune system

Canker Sore on Lip Causes

Have you ever asked yourself what can be the causal agent of canker sore on lip? The fact is that, there are so many speculation and argument about the cause of canker sore. The infection has no clear cause but there are five common reasons that result to widespread of canker sore and they include:

  1. Stress and injury

Having a stress or any mouth injury can result to development of canker sores on lip. The use of hard brush on your mouth can cause some injuries that can result to development of canker sores. Also eating food that can cause mouth injuries t and inflammation can easily result to canker sore on your mouth.
Oral products and harsh mouthwashes that can damage the skin of the mouth can be the factor for development of canker sores. Brushing your mouth too roughly that can cause stress to mouth tissues is another factor that cause canker sores.

  1. Weakened immune system

Individual with weakened immune system are more susceptible to canker sores. Young individual who have not yet developed enough body defense mechanism are more prone to canker sores.

  1. Food allergies

Food is very important for normal functioning of the body but it is ironical that some fruits and vegetable are not desirable when someone is having canker sores. Acidic food like lemon, orange and pineapple can cause canker sore on lip.
Some food can increase mouth ulcers. Strawberries, figs, tomatoes and apple have been attributed to encourage canker sores.

  1. Deficiency of vitamin

From scientific research, vitamins are very important to keep away any infection that invades into your body system. Deficiency of vitamin B-12 can result to development of canker sores. For young individual who are still growing require large amount of vitamins and sometimes they may suffer from vitamin deficiency which can result to development of canker sore on their lips.

  1. Deficiency of mineral salts in the body

From health research, it has been noted that individual with deficiency of zinc and iron in their body system are more prone to canker sore attack. Deficiency of folic acid in the body can also result to development of canker sore on lip.

  1. Fluctuation of hormones and menstrual cycle

Canker sore often occurs on women than men. This is because women experience wide fluctuations of body hormones due to menstruation cycle.

Are Canker Sore Contagious

No need to worry because canker sore is not contagious. These means the infection cannot spread from one individual to another. You can only develop canker sores after being exposed to one of the risk that causes the infection.
Having canker sore in your mouth should not stop you from sharing utensil by your friends and relatives because the infection does not spread to others. You can also kiss without fear when having canker sore on lip but take care not to injure yourself.

How long do Canker Sore Last

Infection of canker sore on lip may take a couple of weeks before healing to takes place. In most case canker sore heals within a period of 10 days. Major canker sores on the mouth can cause serious damage which can take a bit longer time before going away.
You can speed up the healing process on your mouth by going for correct medication that can help you to get rid of the sores. It is better to visit your doctor if canker sore are worsening and cause a lot pain. You can alternatively use a combination of home remedies to fasten the healing of the sores.
Sometime canker sores can cause a lot of pain and make it difficult to eat or even talk; fortunately they don’t cause lasting damage. Canker sore on lip cannot be permanent; the infection disappears with a period of one to two weeks.

How to get rid of Canker Sore on Lip – Home Remedies

Canker sore on your mouth can be removed by the following home remedies that include:

  1. Use of salt water

Rinsing your mouth with salt solution can help you to get rid of canker sore on the lip. Although rinsing your mouth with salt solution can be very painful but it will help to dry out canker sores.
How to use:

  • Get a glass of warm water and add one teaspoon of salt and mix.
  • Swirl the mixture in your mouth for 30 seconds before spiting it out.
  • Keep on rinsing your mouth with this solution at interval of few hours.
  1. Use of Alum powder

Alum powder is the component of potassium aluminum sulfate. The reagent is used in food preservation and also to pickle vegetable. Alum has the ability to draw tissue together when applied to open sores on the mouth. You can use the alum powder to dry out faster canker sores.

  • Make a paste by mixing alum powder with few drops of clean water.
  • Apply the paste onto a canker sore on your mouth.
  • Allow the paste to stay on the sores for about one minute.
  • Take warm water and rinse your mouth thoroughly.
  • Repeat the same procedure daily until canker sore goes away.
  1. Application of honey

Honey is known to have medicinal values that can be used for treatment of canker sores. Honey has antibacterial and ant-inflammatory properties and this is why you can use it to reduce pain and size of red sores on the mouth.
Use natural honey to apply four times a day on your mouth sores. Manuka honey is less processed and good for the treatment because it retains all the healing properties. Honey that has undergone heat treatment is not the best to use because high temperature has destroyed most of its nutrients.

  1. Use of yogurt

Taking yogurt daily can aid in preventing and treating canker sore on lip. It is recommended to eat one glass of yogurt each day when having canker sores.
Yogurt contains live probiotic cultures that have lactobacillus that help to eradicate other bacteria in the mouth that cause the development of canker sores on the lips.

  1. Use of baking soda

Rinsing your mouth with baking soda helps to restore pH balance and reduce inflammation which can help to heal canker sores.
How to use:

  • Take one teaspoon of baking soda and add in ½ cup of water.
  • Swirl the mixture in your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit out.
  • Repeat the same procedure after few hours

Ensure you avoid the swallowing of the baking soda during the rinsing. If you accidentally swallow the mixture no need to worry because it won’t harm you.

  1. Application of coconut oil.

From the studies, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties. If the canker sore is cause by bacteria, coconut oil is the best treatment for canker sores. The oil also has an anti-inflammatory ability that reduces the redness and irritation caused by the infection.
Clean your hands before using the oil. Apply the oil on the affected area using your figure. Ensure you repeat the application of the oil several times per day. Coconut oil can also be applied on the tongue because it tastes good and has no side effect if swallowed.

  1. Hydrogen peroxide solution

The use of hydrogen peroxide solution initiates the healing of the canker sores by remove excess bacteria in the mouth. This solution can be used to clean canker sores that are infected with bacterial and fungi.
How to use:

  • Take 3% of hydrogen solution and dilute it using the same amount of water
  • Using a cotton swab, dip into the solution and apply it directly on your canker sore on lip.
  • Apply the treatment on the canker sore several times a day for faster healing.
  1. Watermelon frost

According to traditional Chinese medicine, watermelon frost has been used to get rid of canker sore on the mouth. There is no scientific correlation between canker sores and watermelon but the powder and spray made from watermelon has been used to treat the sores.
You can get watermelon frost from Asian herbs store or buying it from online. You can as well prepare yours from the watermelon. Be careful when buying chines herbs because it has been reported to contain high content of mercury.

  1. Milk of magnesia

Milk of magnesia has magnesium hydroxide that act as acid neutralizer. Oral use of magnesium hydroxide changes the pH so that canker sores cannot continue to thrive. It also coats the open sores to relieve pain faster.
To use:

  • Take small amount of milk of magnesium and apply on your canker sores.
  • Allow it to sit for 30 seconds, then rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Repeat the application three times per day until canker sores on lip disappear completely.
  1. Use of chamomile

German chamomile has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can heal wounds faster. You can use chamomile tea bad to sooth and compress your canker sores. Chamomile also helps to keep away pain cause by the canker sores on your mouth.
Take a wet chamomile tea bag and press it over the canker sores for few minutes. Alternatively, you can rinse your mouth with fresh brewed chamomile tea. Use the treatment for three times per day for faster healing.

  1. Echinacea

You can use Echinacea liquid to get rid of canker sore on lip. The product also can be used to prevent the development of canker sores on your mouth.
How to use it:

  • Take one tea spoon of liquid Echinacea and add to equal amount of warm water.
  • Swirl the solution in your mouth for about one minutes
  • Remove the mixture from your mouth by spiting it out.
  • Repeat the same procedure three times per day for good results.
  1. Use of cider vinegar

Cider vinegar has medicinal value and can be used for the treatment of the canker sores on your mouth. The acidic nature of cider vinegar can help to kill bacteria that cause irritation of the canker sores.
Use a cotton swab to apply cider vinegar direct on your canker sores. You can feel a lot of pain and irritation during the time of application due to acidic property of the cider vinegar. Take precaution while using the cider vinegar because it can increase the sores in the mouth instead of healing.
How to use it:

  • Add one teaspoon of cider vinegar into one cup of water.
  • Swirl the mixture around your mouth for 30 seconds.
  • Remove the mixture and rinse your mouth with clean water.
  • Repeat the procedure daily until canker sores disappear.
  1. Use of sage

Sage mouthwash has antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent ability that can relieve pain faster when applied to canker sores. For many years sage are used as the treatment for mouth inflammation.
You can obtain sage mouthwash from nearby pharmacies and use it to get rid of canker sore on lip. Alternatively you can prepare your own sage to rinse your mouth:

  • Take 2 tablespoon of fresh sage leaves and add to one cup of boiling water.
  • Allow it to boil for about five minute.
  • Strain the mixture to obtain sage solution.
  • Swish the mixture in your mouth for 30 seconds
  • You can swallow the sage or remove it out of the mouth by spiting it out.
  1. Application of DGL mouthwash

DGL can be used to get rid of mouth cankers. They help to make canker sores shrink and get healed faster. Your doctor can advise you where to purchase it.
The product of DGL is made from deglycyrrhizinated licorice which is an herbal extract. The product has anti-inflammatory properties and is has been used for long time to be a natural remedy for any ulcers in the mouth. DGL are available which can be used to make mouthwash to keep away canker sore on lip.
Preparation method:

  • Take one cup of warm water and add one DGL capsule and mix it.
  • Swirl the solution in your mouth for about 2 minute.
  • Remove the solution out of the mouth.
  1. Supplement of vitamin B

Canker sores on mouth can be cause by deficiency of vitamin B-12. You can get rid of canker sore on lip by taking vitamin B-12 daily. It is advisable to take balance diet rich in vitamin B-12 that will prevent you from getting canker sores.
Canker sores on lip can worsen and for this reason you need to visit your doctor to give right treatment in order to get rid of it. You can talk to your doctor if you experience the following:

  1. Canker sore is larger in size than normal.
  2. You are getting multiple canker sores
  3. If the sore do not heal within a period of two weeks.
  4. If sores are spreading to the lips and are causing a lot of pain
  5. When you experience difficulties in eating and talking

Your doctor will administer you right medication that will help you get rid of canker sores.
Further References

  1. Different between canker sore and cold sore.
  2. How do you get a canker sore?
  3. Cause of canker sore on lip.
  4. How long do canker sore last.
  5. How to get rid of canker sore on lip.