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What are the Different Types of Canker Sore Medicine?

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  • Written By: C. Stoliecki
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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There are several treatment options for those seeking relief from painful canker sores. Topical creams, mouth rinses, and certain types of oral drugs are the most commonly used types of canker sore medicine. Many of these canker sore medications contain steroids and pain relieving agents. In addition, many doctors treat canker sores by administering nutritional supplements such as zinc and folic acid.

Various topical creams exist that are used to treat canker sores. In many cases, canker sore medicine of this variety can be purchased without a prescription, although in some cases, a prescription is required. Some topical creams contain benzocaine, which is a local anesthetic that is well suited for relieving the pain associated with the canker sore. Other topical creams contain amlexanox, a canker sore medicine that reduces the time it takes for the sore to heal. In some cases, topical creams contain a type of steroid called fluocinonide, which acts to dampen the chemical processes of the body that produce skin irritation.

One popular topical cream contains a sulfuric acid phenolics solution. This solution cauterizes the canker sore and removes the abnormal tissue. Using this topical solution can result in the canker sore's demise within a week.

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Mouth rinses are generally prescribed to patients that have many canker sores. There are two common types of mouthwash that are often used. Mouth rinses containing dexamethasone, which is a steroid that reduces swelling, are one variant of this type of canker sore medicine. Another variant contains the antibiotic known as tetracycline, which is an effective remedy for bacterial infections. While tetracycline may effectively reduce the healing time and amount of pain associated with canker sores, it can also result in a permanent alteration of the color of teeth in child patients and make patients more vulnerable to contracting thrush, a potentially painful infection in the mouth.

In many cases, oral medications that were created to treat unrelated ailments have been found to be useful when used as a canker sore medicine. For instance, the oral medication containing cimetidine, a prevalent treatment for heartburn, is an effective treatment for reducing the duration and pain of a canker sore. This is also true for colchicine, a gout medication. Steroids can also be administered orally as an effective canker sore medicine, although they are usually only used to treat unresponsive and persistent sores that are severe.

Sometimes, rather than use traditional medical approaches, doctors prefer to treat canker sores with nutritional supplements. Generally, these include zinc, folic acid, cobalamin (B12), and iron. If a nutritional deficiency is suspected as the cause of the canker sore, these types of supplements can prove to be an efficient remedy.

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