I am always on the lookout for new products and treatments that can reduce canker sore pain and help them heal faster. Mouth sore suffers just want to be able to eat, talk and swallow without pain. One remedy that I have found to be particularly effective is bee propolis, a sticky substance produced by the honey bee. The bees collect this plant resin from tree bark and leaves. It gets mixed with bee nectar, pollen and wax and bee bread. Propolis contains bioflavanoids and amino acids and has been shown to protect against bacteria, fungi and viruses.
While I tend to be skeptical about any product claiming miraculous results, I found something made with bee propolis that seems to live up to the hype: Canker-Rid® by Durham’s Bee Farm. It is one of my favorite products for relieving the pain of mouth sores and spurring healing. It’s an all-natural liquid that you apply to your sores. It seems to heal them faster than other products and it dramatically reduces the pain and discomfort. Having said that, when you first apply the product it stings enough to water your eyes, but only for a few seconds. Then relief kicks in. The bee propolis seems to cauterize the ulcer and reduces the pain dramatically. It forms a protective coating over it, sort of like a liquid band-aid, so the sore can heal.
People who have tried everything from over-the-counter products to vitamins and supplements and prescription drugs and pastes claim that Canker-Rid® was the one product that finally worked for them. Even people suffering from RAS (recurring aphthous stomatitis) say it works for them, even on humongous, excruciatingly painful, hard-to-reach ulcers and clusters of sores. Some say that their sores, which normally take two weeks to heal, are healed within three to four days
The best way to use this product is to apply it at the FIRST sign of a canker sore, i.e. when you first feel that tingle, although it also works on existing sores, even big ones. Users find the pain reduction is amazing and long-lasting. For example, prescription lidocaine-based products seem to only reduce the pain for a very short time and it only treats the symptom — pain — without doing anything to aid the healing process. I should point out that while Canker-Rid® deadens the pain it is not an anesthetic, i.e. it is not a numbing agent. It seems to work by cauterizing the sore, thereby killing the painful nerve endings. That’s probably why it hurts so much for a few seconds when you first apply it. The only thing you really can’t use it for is canker sores on the tongue (hard to get it to stick), but it is ideal for the gums, inner lips and cheeks and even the uvula.
How to Use It:
Dry the affected area with a tissue. This is a crucial step in order to get the stuff to stick properly. Put a drop of the substance on a Q-tip. While some people prefer to saturate a Q-tip it is kind of wasteful. If you take off as much of the cotton as possible leaving just the stick, it won’t just soak into the cotton. Then gently touch the Q-tip stem to the ulcer and let the Canker-Rid® spread around to completely cover it. Try to keep the area open and exposed to air while it dries and forms a seal, maybe for about a minute. Breathing through your mouth helps with this. The longer you can let it dry the better the coating will last so you don’t have to apply it so often. After the initial sting the pain from the sore will stop almost immediately, in most cases.
After the coating has formed and dried you are good to go. You should be able to eat, talk drink without it causing pain. The protective coating seals out air and moisture and prevents irritation. For most people one application will last three-four hours. For many people their sores heal in three-four days versus two weeks and best of all the reduction in pain is significant.
Careful, It Stains
Canker-Rid® rather thin and runny and yellow-brown in color and it stains, so be careful not to get it on your clothes or on counter surfaces. This is the only downside to the product, other than the not-so-good taste. Take care to apply it just to your canker sore; if you get any on your lips or teeth it will leave a dark yellow film. It’s easy to get off your teeth but not so easy to get off clothes.
Where to Get It
At about $20 it may seem a little pricey at first but the bottle will last probably six months and if it can clear up your sores quickly and stop the pain it is worth every penny. You can find Canker-Rid® at Amazon. If you suffer from non-stop mouth ulcers you may be interested in taking Durham Farm’s other products, Queen’s Delight Royal Jelly and Bee Propolis Capsules every day to minimize the outbreaks.
One caution I should mention: if you are allergic to bee stings you should not take bee products including honey and propolis as it may result in a serious allergic reaction.