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Lingering Mouth Sore

Published: March 1, 2010

I have had a sore on my tongue for more than three years. Doctors say it isn’t cancer, but don’t suggest a cure for this annoying and somewhat painful problem. Can you help?

Dick R.

.South Carolina

Any mouth sore that lasts more than 10 days should be checked by a health care provider. Since yours has been tested, a home remedy might help ease the discomfort: Try covering the sore with a paste of baking soda and water, a moistened tea bag, or a little aloe juice several times a day. 
Or you could also try this: Mix equal amounts of milk of magnesia and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and use a cotton swab to dab on just enough to cover the sore. People with persistent sores might also want to check their toothpaste for sodium lauryl sulfate—an ingredient that sometimes triggers the problem. We suggest taking extra lysine, a safe and inexpensive amino acid, for cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. Mouth sores may also result from a B vitamin or iron deficiency or a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in grains and other foods (see related information on page 44). We invite Post readers’ to send us remedies that worked for them.

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