Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Absolute Best Canker Sore Remedies You Don't Know About

By Janet Malley

If you suffer from canker sores, then you know how painful and irritating these recurring ulcerated mouth sores can be. They appear on the inside of your mouth - on the tongue, soft palate (the back portion of the roof of your mouth), or inside your cheeks, and are round, white, or gray in color, with a red edge or border.

There seems to be a controversy on the cause of canker sores, and even exactly what they are - a bacterial or viral infection? An allergic reaction to certain food, or a vitamin deficiency?

It appears the answer is this - the cause is different from person to person. To find an effective treatment, it's important to be mindful when you get a canker sore of what food you ate, if something painful occurred in the mouth, such as dental work or biting the inside of your cheek, if you are under a lot of emotional stress, or not getting adequate sleep.

IS IT A VIRAL INFECTION? If your canker sores occur after a dental procedure or other painful experience in the mouth area, for example, biting the inside of your cheek, or when you are experiencing stress, are over-tired, or receiving chemo therapy or radiation treatments, consider a virus as the culprit.

Items that Contain Anti-viral Properties:

Propolis - Produced by bees, propolis is used as a construction material in bee hives, comprised of a complex of chemicals (especially flavonoids), which play a role as an antiviral agent. Some individuals have allergic reactions to Propolis, and for them, this would not be a good choice.

Slippery Elm - Make a paste by mixing this herbal powder and water. Smear the paste directly on your canker sores as often as you feel you need to. This mixture has been found to completely heal canker sores in some people.

Canker Sores Begone - My clients, readers, and others I've recommended it to rave about this topical, multi-herb product, which is packaged in a small pocket-sized bottle, convenient for throwing in your purse, backpack or gear for application wherever you happen to be.

PERHAPS A FOOD ALLERGY? If you've noticed a canker sore after eating acidic foods such as citrus fruit or a tomato, or other foods such as chocolate, grapes, strawberries, certain nuts, sugar, coffee, spicy or salty foods, you may be close to solving the puzzle.

To determine if a specific food, or more than one food, is causing your problem, do something called "food elimination". For a few weeks, eliminate the suspected foods. If there have been no canker sores during that time, reintroduce them one at a time for a week or so to see which one, or more than one, triggers a canker.

If you prefer an approach that doesn't involve food elimination, try nutritional supplementation. On a daily basis, take 1,000-1,200 milligrams of buffered vitamin C. This will help reduce the level of histamines in your body. You can enhance the effectiveness of the vitamin C by taking 1,000 milligrams of quercetin which by inhibiting histamine release, will reduce inflammation, allowing for a quicker healing of an existing canker sore.

A THIAMIN DEFICIENCY? Research shows that a deficiency of thiamin can lead to recurrent mouth ulcers. Take 100 milligrams of thiamin daily as a preventative.

A High-Potency Multivitamin - If purchased at a health food store, it should give you the nutrients necessary to prevent canker sores. Take 800 micrograms of folic acid, 500-1,000 micrograms of vitamin B12, 10 milligrams of iron, and 20 milligrams of zinc. If your multivitamin doesn't include all you need, add what's needed to make up the difference.

If you don't find that the causes above apply to your situation, don't despair. Here are two remedies that just may provide the relief you're looking for:

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) - There's an herb known as licorice, which has anti-inflammatory properties, decreases healing time, and soothes canker sore pain. Chew one or two 200-milligram tablets two or three times a day until the sore heals. In addition, you can empty the powder from a capsule into one half cup of lukewarm water, dissolve the DGL, and swish the solution around in your mouth. Repeat this at least two or three times a day until the sore has healed.

Tea Bag - Tannin from tea may relieve the pain almost instantly. Hold a used tea bag against the sore for a few minutes. Repeat a few times daily until healed.

In deciding upon which of these options to try, be patient and persistent. If one remedy doesn't seem to work, try another. Finding a solution will be worth it, wouldn't you agree?

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