Mouth Sore Treatments
Mouth Sore Treatments
In many cases, mouth sores are the 'symptom' of an underlying condition. For example, cold sores and canker sores are the result of a virus living in the skin tissue. Treatment, therefore, involves treating the symptoms of these sores such as the pain, duration of outbreaks and the frequency of outbreaks.
Here are some common treatment methods.
- Canker Sores: Benzocaine, found in many non-prescription products , is used to alleviate the pain of mouth sores. These products usually have no healing properties. Topical patches are another way of treating canker sores - topical patches such as Canker CoverTM isolate the canker from further infection/irritation while releasing nutrients conducive to sore healing. Canker Cover has been shown to treat most sores in less than 24 hours. Antibiotics - in some cases, antibiotics will be used to treat underlying infections that may coincide with canker sore outbreaks.
- Cold Sores: Reducing stress can alone significantly reduce your chances of a cold sore outbreak. Using common sense in the sun and with your eating habits, protecting your lips from chapping and getting adequate rest can all help in reducing cold sore outbreaks. Lysine has been shown to increase healing speed and lessen the frequency of cold sores. Lysine should be taken regularly to effectively reduce the frequency of canker sores. Using topical medications such as Lip Clear Lysine+ can stop pain, burning and itching and greatly reduce the duration of a cold sore outbreak. New vaccines are currently being researched for HSV2, which may lead to a cure for HSV1, the virus that causes cold sores.
- Leukoplakia: There are various ways of treating leukoplakia; the most obvious is to discontinue or reduce the use of tobacco or to have your dentures, braces or retainer refitted or re-waxed. To relieve the symptoms of Leukoplakia, ointments or topical treatments can be used.
- Candidiasis: Good oral hygiene, saliva substitutes and medication containing Lysine can greatly decrease or eradicate outbreaks of Candidiasis. Clotrimazole has been effective in treating candidiasis and oral thrush. Anti-fungal suppositories, tablets and ointments may be used to treat candidiasis. Candidiasis can be the symptom of an underlying condition, many serious (such as HIV). It is important to contact a physician if you think you have candidiasis.
Mouth Sore Prevention
Although not all the mouth sores here are the result of bacteria in the mouth, it is very important to practice proper oral hygiene. Once you have a mouth sore, it is very important not to let it get inundated by harmful bacteria that can cause further infection or inflammation. Using proper hygiene can help your body maintain a healthy balance of oral bacteria.
Proper hygiene includes:
- Brush 3 times a day, preferably after meals, for 3 minutes each time. Floss gently every time you brush.
- Use a mild mouth rinse or rinse with salt water or a water / hydrogen peroxide solution.
- Visit the dentist biannually (twice a year) for tartar and plaque cleaning.
- Avoid late night snacking, particularly acidic or sugary foods.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
Besides oral hygiene, there are specific preventative measures that can be taken to avoid the mouth sores discussed in this article. For leukoplakia, the obvious prevention plan would be to stop using tobacco, control the biting of your cheeks or tongue and refitting any braces or dentures. Candidiasis is more difficult to prevent as it is a fungal growth. As for cold sores and canker sores, there are more options for prevention.
For example, Lysine has been proven to decrease the frequency of cold sores and has even eradicated outbreaks for some patients. Lysine also speeds up the healing of cold sores significantly. Products that contain Lysine can be taken on an ongoing basis. After a couple of months, the active ingredient is resident in the body and significantly decreases outbreak frequency.
Other natural ingredients have been shown to have some effect on the healing of mouth sores and the skin in general. Particularly Tea Tree Oil and Licorice (DGL) have been proven to work very effectively as anti-fungal agents.
Next: What are Mouth Sores?