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ACUTE MEDICAL TREATMENT
Debacterol is a natural medical product in use for approximately 100 years as a treatment for canker
sores. It is applied topically to
active canker sores for approximately 5-10 seconds. It seals individual lesions
and resolves associated pain permanently. Research suggests that Debacterol may also speed healing of
lesions. Rather than
cauterization, benefits likely derive from its actions as a tissue denaturant.
Debacterol is available to individuals by prescription for
at-home use, or is offered as an in-office treatment by some medical and dental
professionals. More information on can be found at Debacterol.com and EPIEN Medical.
Silver nitrate is a multi-purpose chemical cauterizing agent
that can be used to seal acute canker sore lesions. It requires special storage due a highly reactive nature and
is therefore for in-office use only.
Silver nitrate should only be applied as an in-office treatment by medically
trained individuals due to the risk of excessive tissue damage. It is not available by prescription.
BENZOCAINE and MENTHOL
Sometimes pain management for canker sores left to heal on
their own is warranted. This is usually
achieved with repeated application of compounds that contain nerve-numbing
properties. Products containing
Benzocaine (e.g., Orajel, Orabase, Kanka) or Menthol (e.g., Quantum Canker
Cover) may help reduce pain with frequent application but do not speed healing.
Some medical products are designed to cover the lesion with
Gelatin (e.g., Canker Melts) and may provide some pain relief through
increasing the barrier to mechanical irritation and bacteria. These options do not speed healing and
require frequent application.
There are many web entries describing home remedies for the
pain associated with canker sores including salt-water rinses, tea bags, aloe
gel, baking soda and even ice.
Frequent or severe canker sore outbreaks should be evaluated
by a doctor because they may indicate a more severe condition requiring specific medical
management (e.g., Behcet’s Disease, PFAPA Syndrome).
The efficacy of prevention techniques for uncomplicated
canker sores is often debated, however these interventions may be helpful to
- Stress management
- Avoid toothpaste with Sodium Lauryl
- Avoid highly acidic, rough or salty
- Decrease alcohol consumption
- Decrease high carbohydrate foods.
- Practice good moth hygiene
- Address overt vitamin deficiencies (e.g.,
iron, B12, folate)
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