Medicines for the treatment of canker sores in the mouth


Mouth ulcers, also called oral ulcers, are painful lesions of the mucous membrane of the oral cavity which normally persist within a short period of time, ranging from a few days to a couple of weeks; canker sores in the mouth can regress even without specific treatments or drugs; despite this, it is possible to apply medicines locally to speed up healing.


The etiopathological agent involved in the onset of canker sores in the mouth is not known: medical statistics show that these oral sores can affect anyone, including those in full health. However, some risk factors are identified: abandonment of the habit to smoking, allergies (rare), hormonal alterations (eg menopause), iron deficiency anemia, vitamin deficiency (especially vitamin B9), celiac disease, HIV, injuries following daily cleaning of the teeth, Crohn's disease, genetic predisposition, stress.


Aphthae in the mouth cause symptoms limited to the oral cavity: ulcers are painful, red sores, the appearance of which is anticipated by a perception of burning and tingling in the area. Only rarely do mouth ulcers extend to the genital mucous membranes.

Information on Mouth Aphthae - Medicines for the Treatment of Mouth Aphthae is not intended to replace the direct relationship between health professional and patient. Always consult your doctor and / or specialist before taking mouth ulcers - Medicines for the treatment of canker sores.


Since the canker sores in the mouth tend to regress spontaneously within a few days, in principle there is a tendency to discard the pharmacological treatment option, leaving the lesion to take its course. Clearly, when the onset of aphthae in the mouth is a lit indicator of a pathology, it is the patient's duty to go to the doctor for the diagnostic assessment, treating - when possible - the disease that arises at its origins.
In order not to aggravate the oral sore, it is advisable to pay particular attention to cleaning the teeth: a particularly vigorous use of the toothbrush can, in fact, accentuate the lesion, break the sore and prolong the healing time.
From the statistics it is understood how the appearance of mouth ulcers is heavily influenced by the deficiency of some vitamins (especially folic acid) and minerals, such as zinc and iron (above all): when mouth ulcers are subordinated to such dietary deficiencies, it is recommended to integrate the power supply with the elements in fault.
In cases where mouth ulcers become particularly painful, it is advisable to rinse the oral cavity with specific mouthwashes or to apply corticosteroid-based pastes locally: the powerful anti-inflammatory effect of these drugs (TO BE USED WITH MODERATION) seems to bring extraordinary results, especially in terms of healing speed. It should be remembered, however, that the use of corticosteroids for the treatment of mouth ulcers is able to relieve pain and accelerate the healing time of the sores, while not exerting any beneficial effect on reducing the frequency of relapses.
Only in extreme cases, in which the canker sores grow immeasurably in terms of size and number, is the administration of drugs with immune-modulating activity conceivable.

The following are the classes of drugs most used in the therapy against mouth ulcers, and some examples of pharmacological specialties; it is up to the doctor to choose the most suitable active ingredient and dosage for the patient, based on the severity of the disease, the state of health of the patient and his response to treatment:

The drug therapy described below must be followed only in case of seriousness.

  • Chlorhexidine (eg. Disinfene cream, Golasan mouthwash): in the form of mouthwash, this drug helps to reduce pain and speed up healing times. It seems that rinses with this mouthwash are an "effective form of prevention of infectious ulcers of the oral cavity; however, chlorhexidine does NOT reduce the frequency of relapses. It is recommended to rinse the mouth with 15 ml of product, twice a day. after daily cleaning of the teeth with toothpaste, brush and dental floss. It is also advisable to keep the chlorhexidine-based mouthwash in the mouth for at least 30 seconds, before expelling it. The drug can create brown spots on the surface of the teeth, easily Removable: since such a therapy increases the chances of staining your teeth, it is advisable to avoid taking tea, coffee or red wine during the treatment period, to avoid making the stains even more evident.
  • Betamethasone tablets to dissolve (eg Betnesol, Bentelan): the drug belongs to the class of corticosteroids and is used in therapy for particularly inflamed and painful mouth ulcers, to accelerate healing. The drug is available in tablets to be placed directly on the lesion, until completely dissolved. When the drug is used from the very first painful symptoms, the oral ulcer can be nipped in the bud, avoiding the rush. Apply a tablet on the mouth ulcers, 4 times a day, until the symptoms disappear. For children; the therapy does not it must last more than 5 days.
  • Hydrocortisone (eg Cortison CHEM, Idroco A ECB): this drug belongs to the class of corticosteroids; in case of mouth ulcers, it should be applied locally, in the form of a dental cream or paste. The product is useful for reducing inflammation. It is recommended to apply it directly on the inflamed gum, two or three times a day, after meals and before going to sleep.
  • Fluocinonide (eg Topsyn gel, lotion, ointment): the drug is a topically applied corticosteroid to reduce the pain and inflammation of mouth ulcers. In the form of 0.05% gel, apply the drug directly on the canker sores to reduce pain.
  • Sodium carboxymethylcellulose (eg Orahesive, Orabase): the drug, available in the form of a paste or powder, must be applied directly to the mouth ulcers, to reduce the sensation of pain, burning and discomfort.
  • Benzydamine (eg Difflan, Tantum Verde): in the form of an oral spray or cream, the drug (class: NSAID) should be sprayed / applied directly on the mouth ulcers, for its mild analgesic effect.
  • Choline salicylate (eg Bonjela): DO NOT use in children under 12-16 years, a similar use could favor the onset of Reye's syndrome. Available in the form of gel or paste to be applied to the lesion. For the posology: consult your doctor.
  • Tetracycline (tetracycline hydrochloride capsules): the antibiotic drug is indicated to treat large mouth ulcers: it is recommended to dissolve the contents of one capsule in a tablespoon of water, thus obtaining a suspension of tetracycline at 125 mg / ml. The preparation should be kept in the mouth for a couple of minutes and then expelled. Do not swallow. Do not administer to children under the age of 9: the drug suspension can stain the teeth, which are still forming.
  • Lidocaine the drug is a local anesthetic whose application promotes immediate relief from the burning pain that accompanies oral canker sores. The drug is also available as a solution for frequent oral rinses: a dose of 5 ml of 2% viscous lidocaine is recommended. The rinses must be done at least 3 hours before the meal.

Other practical remedies for canker sores in the mouth:

parallel to the pharmacological therapies for the treatment of canker sores in the mouth, it is recommended to follow some simple precautions to prevent their formation or to accelerate their healing:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Drink with a straw (to prevent liquids from coming into contact with canker sores)
  • Switch medications when you suspect that this is the cause of the canker sores
  • Limit salty, spicy, and acidic foods, which make the pain and discomfort created by mouth ulcers worse.

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