June 1st, 2015 7:11am
I am sure you are tired of seeing the word "cure" thrown around. And you must believe that I would never be one to throw around a word like that. So when I say cure, that's exactly what I mean.
For most of my adult life, I have suffered on and off from, what are known as, canker sores. The medical term is aphthous ulcers. This is different from cold sores, which are caused by a Herpes Simplex virus and highly cantagious. The cause of canker sores is not known and they are not contagious. Theories abound from too much acid in one's diet or in one's system, to reflux, to stress, to a virus. Having then on and off, I have seen no real pattern. And the reality is that no one really knows the cause.
They can be very painful, especially if two are located close to each other. I have tried things over the years from changing my toothbrush frequently to various creams and potions. A few years ago, I found dabbing the ulcer with ACT mouthwash seemed to shorten the duration from the normal two weeks to about 5 - 7 days. However, what I have found by scouring the internet is something that cures them within 24-hours.
The cure: Alum. Alum is a chemical compound short for hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate. Alum powder is found in the spice section of many grocery stores and may be used in pickling recipes as a preservative to maintain fruit and vegetable crispness. But most importantly for me, it is what has cured my painful canker sores when they come out a few times a year.
Here's the protocol that has worked for me when I feel a canker sore developing or already have one.
1. Place 1/8 of a teaspoon (a little more than 0.5ml) in a small cup.
2. Add one drop of water.
3. Stir into a paste
4. With your finger or cotton swab, dab a little of the paste on the ulcer and leave it there for about a minute, or two. Your mouth will begin to salivate but keep it on.
5. After a minute or two, rinse the area with completely (your mouth may feel somewhat parched).
6. Usually one application will do the trick, but sometimes, if the ulcer is severe, you may need to reapply the next day. Either way, for me, the ulcer disappears within 24-hours. This is the brand I use:
Remember, canker sores are NOT cold sores, so I cannot vouch for this working for those. But what I can vouch for is that Alum has worked wonders for my canker sores; it has not prevented them, but it has cured them when they occur.
© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD