Mouth sores can be a very unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment. However, there are natural ways to help prevent and reduce the pain of mouth sores.

What is a mouth sore?


Mouth sores are uncomfortable, burning spots in the mouth that resemble cuts or ulcers and, in some cases, they may also have white patches. Mouth sores are usually found around your lips, gums, tongue or the roof and bottom of your mouth. Due to the painful nature of these sores, it can make it hard to eat, swallow, talk and even breathe.


Why does cancer treatment cause mouth sores?


Cancer treatments are excellent at attacking cancer cells but because they are unable to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy cells, your mouth and even your gut cells may suffer damage. The damage to the cells that line your mouth makes it hard for it to heal itself and fight off bacteria, ultimately leading to mouth sores. Mouth sores will usually start to form a few days after treatment and will start to feel better around days 10-14.


How can I prevent and manage mouth sore pain?


Here are some easy, gentle methods for reducing discomfort and hastening the healing and prevention of mouth sores.


1) You can lessen the discomfort of mouth sores by bringing the PH levels in your mouth back to normal. These levels are known to alter during cancer treatment.

  • Gargle a mixture of 1 tsp. baking soda and ½ cup water; you can also opt to add a pinch of Pink Salt or Himalayan Salt for an added antibiotic and alkalizing benefit.

  • Gargle a 1 tsp. Milk of Magnesia or use a cotton swab to apply it to the sores.

  • Gargle Green tea or Matcha green tea, on top of consuming it regularly as well for added benefits.

  • Gargle water from soaked Licorice Root

  • Make tea or paste from plants that have hydrating and antibiotic properties: Aloe and Sage (also has properties that help reduce inflammation)


2) Cooling and coating your mouth can help relieve pain. 

  • Ice Chips are often the first thing to try for pain relief.

  • Use Coconut oil to coat mouth sores.

  • Apply Honey to mouth sores.

  • Apply coriander seeds paste (made from boiled coriander seeds, or coriander powder and water)

  • Historically, dentists used: Clove Essential Oil. (Mix 25ml Olive Oil to 5 drops Clove Essential Oil and dab this on the sores)

  • Spray mixture of essential oils for numbing: 1tbsp olive/grape seed oil, 10 drops peppermint oil, 4 drops eucalyptus oil


3) Rebuild your gut to help your mouth


According to recent studies, the health of our mouths may be influenced by the condition of our gut. This is called The Oral-Gut Microbiome Axis.  The beneficial bacteria that live in our gut help to support a healthy immune system and reduces inflammation. Unfortunately, cancer treatment can harm the good bacteria and cells in our intestines, which can encourage the overproduction of harmful bacteria and weaken the barrier between our intestines and blood stream which can reduce our immunity and cause inflammation. According to these studies, those who have had cancer treatment that has harmed their gut are more likely to have mouth sores due to a reduction in immunity.

Below are some tips to help your gut and your mouth,

  • When it is painful to eat or chew, use cold drinks, popsicles, Jell-O, smoothies, or cooled soups to get the nutrients your body needs for healing. Include ingredients that provide a Vitamin B12 boost: (Bananas; Spirulina -Vitamin B booster-; Spinach; Almond; Soy Milk; Kale; Strawberry; Carrots)

  • enterade Advanced Oncology Formula is clinically proven to help rebuild and protect the gut from damage caused by cancer treatments. enterade can help manage side effects like diarrhea, nausea, dehydration, fatigue, and unwanted weight loss. 

  • Consume probiotic drinks/food like Yogurt and Kefir which can replace the good bacteria in your gut and mouth.

  • Take supplements, especially Vitamin C, to preserve Ph levels in the mouth.


Ask your doctor about taking raw probiotics.


During your treatment, you can minimize mouth sore pain and discomfort by following a few of these simple steps every day. You might even prevent sores altogether or have fewer of them as a result.


Disclosure: These are recommendations only. If your side effects are affecting you, it is important to talk with members of your healthcare team.



Oral-Gut Microbiome Axis in the Pathogenesis of Cancer Treatment-Induced Oral Mucositis – PMC (

Managing Mouth Sores – Prostate Cancer | UCLA Health

16 Ways to Get Rid of Canker Sores (