Last year we publised an article about using a laser to treat canker sores. Last month we had a patient who was struggling with them and he came to us.
This is his story:
Warning, this tale is not for the weak of heart.
Imagine taking a small drink of water and out of reflex to the burning pain, your throat closes up as you gasp for air repeatedly until your body relaxes. You’re left with a migraine and a small sense of satisfaction knowing that at least you got some liquid down, and today won’t be the day that you dry out. What could be the cause of such a fast and brutal reaction to an act as simple as drinking water? Canker sores.
Canker sores come in all shape and sizes and unfortunately for us, they are never friendly. Treatments and causes are speculated upon and the only cure that is offered (Debacterol), is expensive, painful, and not widely available. That’s a recipe for disaster if you’re like me who at the worst, had 8 canker sores all at once.
They covered the interior of my mouth like Christmas decorations in summer, horrific and disgusting to look at. Three small ones under my tongue, one small one on the tip and one ready to emerge adjacent to it, one dime-sized canker on each side of my small palate, one behind my uvula near my tonsils, and one on the roof of my mouth. I wanted to scream, but I knew that any form of pressure coming out of my mouth would only serve to agitate these evil little Gremlins further.
You may wonder, well what did you do about it? Did you even try to treat them? The answer to that is yes – aggressively so over a period of 4 weeks. I gargled salt-water, restricted my diet to avoid any potential trigger foods, rubbed hydrogen-peroxide and alum directly to them with a q-tip; I tried mouthwashes, homemade syrups, unlit matchsticks; I tried praying (I’m not religious), cursing, laughing. I contacted my primary care physician as much as was reasonable until finally I ended up in the E.R. three times over a period of 4 days.
I was tapped out. There was nothing they could offer me that I hadn’t already had or been prescribed. I even had a family member there to help communicate for me – after an incident of choking on water, my voice was shot and it was painful to even whisper. While sitting in the hospital bed waiting for someone to help me on that busy morning, it occurred to me that maybe I should ask a dentist. Slip-up of the century. I queried the internet for nearby treatments for canker sores until getting a hit for Advantage Dental with the query: “dentist canker sore laser meridian”. After reading the testimonial the site offered I decided that I might as well give it a shot, I have nothing to lose. My family member booked an appointment right then and there for me the next morning. I couldn’t wait.
Here’s where the story gets brighter. I can confidently say that getting the laser treatments has helped speed up the recovery of my canker sores. I had a total of three treatments over three days and this has allowed me to not be afraid of swallowing my own saliva, water, and liquid meals. With each passing day there was noticeable difference in the amount of pain I was feeling. I went from putting a towel next to my mouth to catch all the saliva that would inevitably come out during the night, since swallowing was too painful, to being able to (with only a very modest amount of pain) drink a 32 oz. bottle of water.
Nothing is perfect. One treatment that works for someone may not work for another, or maybe it turns out that the treatment didn’t work because you’re allergic to a food you haven’t cut our of your diet yet. I personally need to take it slow and recover the rest of the way without agitating the canker sores that get smaller every day. That being said, why not give it a shot? if you’re suffering from canker sores, this treatment can offer you some relief and a faster recovery at an affordable cost compared to a lot of other options out there. If you have health insurance and can afford it, get yourself a prescription for magic mouthwash from your doctor to numb your canker sores and get laser treatment from the dentist to help speed up the recovery. A practical one-two combo. It can help cut down the time you live with your canker sore by a non-arbitrary amount. I was looking at up to living another 4 weeks or longer with canker sores and now I can see myself being completely clear within a week after only three laser treatments. Keep in mind, my canker sores were massive so I needed multiple treatments, if yours are a normal size, then you can cut down that recovery period by a significant amount with only one treatment.
I’ll include a gnarly picture I took of the inside of my mouth after going home from my third treatment so you can have somewhat of an idea of what they were like. Missing is the canker sore that is behind and to the right of my uvula. The canker sore on the left-hand side used to be close around the size of the one on the right – and both of them were bright white.
The less time spent with canker sores, the better. Don’t let the monsters get out of hand. Good luck – I know you need it.
You’ll make it through this,
Thank you for this testionial. We are so happy we were able to help provide you some relief with your canker sores. If you have a canker sore or cold sore and want to get rid of it faster – Call the office and we can laser it!
If you would like more information,
call, text or email us (208) 884-0888