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Canker Sore Treatments


By Staff Writer

Canker Sore TreatmentsCanker sores are small, painful sores that occur inside the mouth. Also called apthous ulcers, their exact cause remains unknown, but they aren't contagious. Contributing factors include stress, mouth injury, hormone changes, food allergies, and diets low in iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12. The most common treatments are over-the-counter medications that control pain and protect the sores so you can eat, drink and care for your teeth. These products don't speed healing, but they can make you more comfortable. Oral protectants, such as hydrocarbon gel (Colgate® Orabase®), cover and protect the sores. Benzocaine, found in various products such as Orabase and Anbesol® Maximum Strength Gel, numbs the sore. Also, oral pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol®), or ibuprofen (Advil® and Motrin®) can relieve the pain. Carbamide peroxide releases oxygen on contact to clean the sore. It also has mild antibacterial effects. A possible home-based remedy includes applying a small amount of hydrogen peroxide mixed with water to the sore, then dab a small amount of milk of magnesia on it a few times a day. This combination may help to soothe and heal the sore.

Sources: Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996. Johns Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies. Medletter Associates Inc., 1999. Goroll. Primary Care Medicine. Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1995. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Facts & Comparisons, 2007.Medline Plus. Medline, 2007.This answer prepared 5/17/2000. This information updated 1/4/2007.

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