The Agony of the Benign Sore

Once in a while I like to address dental issues because that is where my expertise if not my interest lies. I have spent 35 years (this year) sitting on my gluteus maximus hovering over this and that mouth trying to help people keep their teeth for a lifetime. To be of any help whatsoever we dental professionals must stay current on our continuing education and in so doing we run across interesting subjects that we deal with all the time and never think anything of. Today that area of interest was oral aphthous ulcerations.

Aphthous ulcers take on many forms and have a multitude of names but for simplicity sake we will just call them all canker sores. These cankers are sores that occur on the inside of your cheek, under your tongue, on the soft palate  and the borders of your tongue. They typically have a red border and are not contagious but some are an inherited tendency. What they all have in common is they are agonizingly painful and patients often seek assistance from their dentist or doctor in helping them cope with the discomfort.

There are drastic pharmaceutical answers to the problem such as taking corticosteroids or using steroid rinses. Many conventional treatments require a blood work-up before commencing treatment to make sure your liver can handle the drug that might be recommended and some steroids if used too long can cause Cushing’s or Cushing’s like issues, in other words the pharmaceutical answer is dangerous. It may or may not work but in all probability it will have side effects that you really don’t want to deal with.

So what can you do if you experience recurrent canker sores? The answer I have been giving for years is to try rinsing your mouth with Milk of Magnesia and/or rinsing with a salty solution of 1 teaspoon of sea salt to a 1/2 cup of warm water. What I found after doing a little research is there are a plethora of possibilities from homeopathic remedies to taking your B vitamins.

If you have had good luck with homeopathic remedies you need to look at the remedies and answer questions like is it burning pain? Then Arsenicum album would work. Are the sores hot and sensitive? Then Borax is the correct remedy. Homeopathy is so specific that working with a licensed homeopath would really be the best to solve the problem and deal with the recurring one.

Nutritionally there can be a number of deficient minerals that cause canker sores. Supplementing with Vitamins B (300 mg Vitamin B1, 30 mg Vitamin B2 and 150 mg Vitamin B6) and C (4-5000 mg a day) have been known to help but zinc (one 15 mg lozenge every 3 waking hours for 2 days), folic acid (400 mcg daily), and iron (Solgar Gentle Iron) may also help if you are deficient. The amino acid Lysine (500 mg 3 times daily,on an empty stomach. Take with water or juice and never milk.) has been used as well as Lactobacillus acidophilus (chewing four tablets three time per day).

Applying antiseptic oils of myrrh, tea tree, and geranium on the sores may provide relief. You may also rinse your  mouth four times a day with 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 drop each of the oils of geranium and lavender.

Last but not least I always recommend feeding our bodies the right food to help them heal. Foods like onions are high in sulfur and will hasten healing. Yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese and buttermilk are good choices (although unfermented  dairy or dairy that is not soured is not recommended). I am guessing fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter could work miracles if you have them on hand as Ramiel Nagel recommends them for healing almost any oral malady. Nutritional yeast is high in B Vitamins and can be added to cereal, liquid and salads. It probably goes without saying that you should avoid spicy, hot or particularly crunchy and hard foods as they will only irritate an already abraded area.

Next week I am posting the results of my Spectracell blood test. I knew I would have some deficiencies but the number of nutrients that were considered low enough to be classified as “deficient” surprised even me, so tune in next week.




2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on 18:18 at Monday, January 16, 2012

    I’ll still use the peroxide method!


    • Another useful method of dealing with their annoying presence. What ratio of of hydrogen peroxide to water do you use and how often? How many days do you have to treat them?


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