March 22, 2007 -- A new over-the-counter patch may help canker sores heal faster.
Scientists (including the patch's inventor) announced that news today in New Orleans at the 85th general session of the International Association for Dental Research.
The researchers studied 46 adults with recurrent canker sores, also called recurrent aphthous ulcers.
Half of the patients received the patches, called Cankermelts, which the researchers say contain licorice extract to curb inflammation. Those patients were told to put the herbal patch over their canker sore for 16 hours per day but not to wear the patches while sleeping.
For comparison, the other patients didn't get the patches and agreed not to use any other canker sore treatment.
Every day for eight days, the patients rated their canker sore pain and got their canker sores photographed and checked by the researchers.
Before treatment, the patients' average canker sore pain and average canker sore size was similar for both groups.
But by the end of the eight-day study, the patients who wore the canker sore patches had less canker sore pain and smaller canker sores than the untreated group.
The researchers included scientists from the University of Washington, the American Academy of Oral Medicine in Seattle, and Jeff Haley, founder and chief scientist of Orahealth, the company that makes Cankermelts.