Canker sore treatment - first aid & emergencies quick reference guide
Please call 911 if you think you have a medical emergency.
C a n k e r S o r e T r e a t m e n t S e l f - C a r e a t H o m e
• Try rinsing your mouth with a solution of 1/2-teaspoon salt dissolved in 8
• Another mixture that may be helpful consists of 1-2 tablespoons of Maalox
mixed with one-half tablespoon of liquid diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
• A number of medications are available over-the-counter, for example,
• Liquids or ointments with a numbing ingredient such as benzocaine
(Anbesol, Orabase, Tanac) help relieve the discomfort of canker sores.
M e d i c a l T r e a t m e n t
Although there is no cure for canker sores, treatment can decrease symptoms, reduce
the likelihood that they will return, and prolong periods of remission.
• Applying certain steroid salves directly to the sore is effective if you use
the salve early in an attack. If over-the-counter medications do not help, a common prescription consists of triamcinolone acetonide, a corticosteroid, in a sticking dental paste (Kenalog in Orabase). Typically, you apply the paste to the lesions 3 times daily. More recently, doctors have prescribed amlexanox (Aphthasol). Although no one knows why amlexanox works, it may be related to its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.
• Tetracycline suspensions (Achromycin, Nor-tet, Panmycin, Sumycin,
Tetracap) used as a mouthwash can relieve pain and accelerate healing.
• The doctor can prescribe viscous lidocaine (an anesthetic) to numb the
ulcers before meals and at bedtime, making it easier for you to eat.
• A slurry made with Carafate, a prescription medication used to treat peptic
ulcers, has been reported to successfully coat canker sores, promoting comfort and healing.
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eMedicineHealth.com First Aid Quick Reference | Canker Sores Treatment
• The doctor may prescribe folic acid, iron, or vitamin B12 supplements if
you are deficient in these. In such cases, you may require several months of therapy to improve. No benefit has been shown, however, from taking these vitamins if you are not deficient.
• For unknown reasons, some women may develop new attacks or
worsening of canker sores during their premenstrual phase. An estrogen-dominant oral contraceptive may help if given for 4-6 months.
• In extremely severe cases, doctors may consider giving oral doses of
corticosteroids, if they believe the benefits of treatment exceed the risks of oral steroids. Risks include weight gain, weakening of the immune system, brittle bones, increase in gastric acidity leading to ulcers, and others.
• Cimetidine (Tagamet) may be useful in treating canker sores. This is the
same medication that decreases acid production by the stomach and is used for peptic ulcers and heartburn. The FDA has not approved cimetidine officially for canker sores.
• Additional drugs reported to be beneficial include colchicine, pentoxifylline
(Trental), and dapsone (Avlosulfon). Colchicine may aid prevention as well as treatment. At this time, the FDA has approved none of these drugs for canker sores.
• Recently, a new prescription drug, Debacterol, has been released.
Debacterol is applied to the ulcer and helps to seal it and allow it to heal.
more information from eMedicineHealth
For more information, read the complete article, Canker Sores
WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth
Reviewed by Ann Edmundson, MD on May 24, 2006
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.Visit http://www.eMedicineHealth.com for first aid and consumer health information. Copyright 2008
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