Aloe Vera Helps Relieve Mouth Sores
You're dressing for a special event when a familiar tingling sensation crosses your lips. One quick look in the mirror confirms an unsightly and irritating cold sore. One remedy may be the aloe vera plant, which has been used to heal skin for more than 2,000 years and recently has gained attention as an alternative treatment for some oral health problems including canker sores, cold sores, and lichen planus and gingivitis, according to the January/February 2005 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
Long recognized for relieving itchy skin, poison ivy and burns, the gel from the aloe vera plant is gaining attention for curing ulcerated lesions, both in and outside of the mouth. The news is good for a growing segment of the population seeking natural treatments for common health problems.
"There is good evidence to support using aloe vera for oral health problems," says AGD spokesperson Kenton A. Ross, DMD, FAGD. "I believe a number of patients will be interested in this inexpensive alternative."
How To Use Aloe Vera
Use of aloe vera plants:
• Aloe vera plants are available at most plant stores and nurseries.
• Place near a window.
• Water when the soil is dry.
• Do not overwater.
• To get the gel out of the plant, use scissors to snip off an inch of the leaf.
• Squeeze the leaf that was snipped off. The gel will squeeze out.
Aloe Vera Speeds Healing
Aloe vera accelerates healing and reduces pain associated with cold sores, which are blisters on the lips or around the mouth. Aloe vera does not have a bad taste or sting when applied.
The journal article, written by Richard L. Wynn, PhD, mentions a study done on a patient with lichen planus, a common disease affecting the skin and oral mucus membranes. The patient drank 2.0 ounces of aloe vera juice daily and applied aloe-vera lip balm. The oral lesions cleared up in four weeks, and complete success was achieved.
Dr. Wynn cited the study as showing that oral health problems can be treated with aloe vera. "Aloe vera can be taken both as the aloe vera juice and aloe vera gel. These are the two modes of delivery recognized by the Food and Drug Administration," says Dr. Wynn.
If you are interested in using aloe vera for oral health problems, speak with your dentist about proper treatment techniques.
Original content of this reprinted with permission of the Academy of General Dentistry. © Copyright 2007-2009 by the Academy of General Dentistry. All rights reserved. Read the original article here.