A Canker Sore Remedy that May Work

Has a canker sore been bothering you or your child?  If you think you’ve tried everything that means you’ve tried gels and all of the homemade remedies out there. One home remedy is now proven to be more useful.

Aphthous ulcers (canker sores) are among the most common oral soft tissue disease encountered in dental practices.  This condition affects approximately 20% of the general population and primarily occurs in adolescence. Recurrent aphthous ulcers typically affect the mucosa of the inner lips and cheeks. Lesions tend to be smaller than 1 cm and heal in 10-14 days without scar formation.  This sounds really simple, but if you have had even 1 of these, you know how uncomfortable they are.  Whether you are talking, eating, or just sitting still, they can be extremely painful. They also occur in adults, though less frequently.

A recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania dental school looked at treatments for acute ulcers.  The most common medication used to treat recurrent aphthous ulcers are topical corticosteroids, (i.e. Kenalog in orabase gel).  This gel accelerates resolution of lesions and relieves symptoms associated with the swelling.  Natural substances such as honey have been used as topical medicaments for centuries to treat a variety of human ailments with minimal side effects.

The study aimed to determine the efficiency and safety of topical honey compared with triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% and orabase treatment in shortening the clinical course and recurrence of minor aphthous ulcers.

The results illustrated that topical honey was associated with a more dramatic reduction in ulcer size, pain was reduced faster and the time to resolution was fastest in the group that used honey topically.  It was also noted that it was easier for the subjects to apply honey to the affected area and it seemed to adhere better than the common topical steroid use.

This study suggests that honey may be useful for recurrent aphthous ulcers, a common condition encountered in practice and one that does not have many options for treating.

Next time, you decide to rule out that home remedy, remember it may work.

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