Canker Sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are small painful irritations inside the mouth, usually on the tongue or inside the cheeks. They shouldn’t be confused with cold sores, which appear on the lips. Canker sores affect thousands of Americans a year but they are most prevalent among adolescents and women who are about to have their menstrual period.
Studies show that women are twice more prone to canker sores than men. It also runs in the family. You’re more likely to develop them if your parents or siblings have had them in the past. It can also be due to stress or trauma in the mouth. Those that are due to trauma are called traumatic ulcers. They are typically caused by hot food, ill-fitting dentures, or brushing too hard.
There have been numerous remedies for this mouth problem. Home remedies are commonly practiced to ease the pain and stinging sensation that come with canker sores.
Apart from these, an over-the-counter patch has been introduced to help this mouth ulcer heal much faster. The question is, is it effective?
The product was introduced in 2007 in New Orleans at the 85th general session of the International Association for Dental Research. The patches called Cankermelts were tested on 46 adults suffering from recurrent canker sores.
According to the researchers, the patch contained licorice extract that was effective in toning down inflammation. The patients were advised to apply the herbal patch over the mouth ulcer for 16 hours each day. But they were prohibited from wearing it during sleep. It was to avoid swallowing the patch.
Other patients were not given the patches. They were also told not to use any form of treatment for canker sore for effective comparison. For eight days, the patients were asked to rate the pain they got from the mouth problem. The canker sores were also routinely checked and photographed by the researchers.
Before the onset of the study, the patients all had average canker sore pain and size. But after the eighth day, those who were given the herbal patch had significantly smaller canker sores and less pain compared to the group that was not given any treatment.
This study, conducted by scientists from the University of Washington, the American Academy of Oral Medicine in Seattle along with Jeff Haley, chief scientist and founder of the company that manufactures Cankermelts, provided good evidence that the product was successful in treating canker sores.
Many people have been using this patch to treat their canker sore. Of course, there are still those who prefer the traditional home remedies for pain relief. Some of the old remedies include:
- rinsing mouth with aloe juice
- applying baking powder
- chewing fresh papaya leaves
- using tea tree oil
Whether you choose to use the herbal patch or the old remedies, the important thing is that you get relief from the pain and you stop this mouth problem from bothering you.