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Mouth Ulcers (Canker Sores)

Painful canker sores often break out during times of stress. They are often related to nutritional deficiencies or allergies to foods and other substances. Homeopathic remedies can ease the pain of canker sores, reduce inflammation, and help the tissues heal.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Arsenicum album: A person who breaks out in burning, painful mouth sores, and also feels anxious and tired, is likely to benefit from this remedy. Hot drinks often ease the pain, and the person feels best when keeping warm. People who need this remedy often have unhealthy, easily-bleeding gums, and tend to be extremely neat and tense.

Borax: This remedy is often helpful when canker sores feel hot and sensitive. Acidic foods—especially citrus fruits—may be irritating. Sores may break out on the inside of the cheeks, on the gums, and on the tongue. The person produces profuse saliva, yet still feels dry inside the mouth. People needing Borax are often very sensitive to noise and inclined toward motion sickness.

Calcarea carbonica: This remedy is often indicated when infants and small children have recurring canker sores. A child who needs this remedy may also have head-sweats during sleep, and be slow to teethe or learn to walk. Calcarea carbonica may help with canker sores in adults who are chilly, stout, and easily fatigued.

Hepar sulphuris calcareum: If a person develops painful mouth sores that become infected—with pus formation, extreme sensitivity, and aggravation from cold drinks—this remedy may be indicated. A person needing Hepar sulph often feels extremely chilly, vulnerable, and oversensitive.

Mercurius solubilis: Bleeding gums, a swollen coated tongue, and offensive breath are seen along with canker sores when this remedy is needed. The painful, burning sores feel worse at night, and salivation is profuse, with drooling during sleep. The person tends to sweat at night and is very sensitive to any change in temperature.

Natrum muriaticum: Pearly sores that erupt inside the mouth, especially on the gums or tongue, may respond to this remedy. The mouth feels dry, and the tongue may have a tingling feeling. People who need this remedy often are troubled by cold sores around the corners of the mouth or chin, and have chapped or cracking lips. A craving for salt, strong thirst, and a tendency to feel worse from being in the sun are other indications for Natrum muriaticum.

Nux vomica: A person who needs this remedy may break out in canker sores after overindulging in sweets, strong spicy foods, stimulants, or alcoholic beverages. The sores are often small, and the person may have swollen gums, a coated tongue, and bloody salivation. Irritability, impatience, and a general chilliness are often seen when this remedy is needed.

Sulphur: This remedy may be helpful for sores that are painful, red and inflamed, with burning pain that is worse from warm drinks and aggravated by heat of any kind. The mouth may have a bitter taste, and the gums can be swollen and throbbing. A person who needs this remedy often has reddish lips and mucous membranes, and a tendency toward itching and skin irritations.

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Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

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The information presented in Healthnotes Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.

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