How to say crutch or crutches in French
c'est déjà pas mal

Semence: Sowing seeds for a French flower garden

Scarecrow (c) Kristin Espinasse
Only scarecrows are immune to canker sores. The rest of us are sitting ducks! (photo taken in the Queyras Valley, in the French Hautes-Alpes)

If you are new to this word journal, I hope not to scare you away with an ugly first word. (You could always skip to the story column and learn sores--I mean scores--of flowery vocabulary...)

I've been nursing a burning and painful aphte for a few days now. Is it all those oranges I've been eating? Or a food allergy or hidden stress? Or maybe an acidic mouth? Jean-Marc tells me to sprinkle baking soda on it and there he goes again, citing yet another "remède de grand-mère". His grandma must have been a wizard... or une sorcière...

un aphte (pronounced "unnaft")

    : a canker sore, a mouth ulcer or lesion

Terms and phrases found in an internet search:

soigner un aphte = take care of a canker sore
soulager un aphte = to find relief from a canker sore
traiter les aphtes récividants = to treat recurring canker sores
guérir des aphtes = to heal canker sores
un aphte sous la langue = a canker sore beneath / under the tongue

Un aphte est une ulcération douloureuse... A canker sore is a painful ulcer. --French Wikipedia
Le mot aphte vient du mot grec "aptein" qui signifie brûlure. The word aphte comes from the Greek word aptein which means "burn".

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

Lackadaisy is not a flower

I woke up Sunday morning in an empty bed. Jean-Marc had left in the night to make it to the Nice airport by 5 a.m. and so begin his USA wine tour.

Beyond the bedroom window the skies were gray and the forest was capped in black clouds. On closer look there was a steady stream of rain, just as my husband had predicted. The cold, wet weather led to a guilty inclination to linger in bed. But if Jean-Marc were here, I thought, he wouldn't be indulging in la grasse matinée or so called "fat morning"—no! he'd be kicking around in the utilities room or the cellar or in his maritime shipping container which doubles as our extra-storage room (I think it is his French equivalent of The Sunday Garage, where husbands tinker and putter on weekends).

Wherever, he'd be getting stuff done! And so would I... with him by my side. But without him would I turn into a couch potato? I found myself seriously considering this fate on Sunday morning while languishing in a half-empty bed. I reached for my IPad, thinking to share my potato-metamorphosis on Facebook... but then—quelle horreur!—if I went over to FB I might lie in bed all morning until I began to sprout little green shoots!

I sprang out of bed and ended up in the covered carport, that mythic hangout of weekend industrialists. Looking around at the piles of wood and the piles of stuff that needed a home, I heard myself nagging my invisible family, "Ceci ce n'est pas un débarras! This is not a junk room!" How many times had I said it in the months since moving to our new old home? 

I noticed an old shop table belonging to Jean-Marc's grandfather.... I could use it to set out rows of plastic garden pots and begin filling them with compost and vegetable seeds—lettuce, tomato, cucumber, peas!

Only, returning inside to get the seed packets, another inspiration hit when I remembered Mom's suggestion that I not hoard flower seeds. "Use them!" She recently urged me. Mom is right: why not gather all the soon-to-expire seeds and toss them around the perimeter of the house? A rainy day was a perfect day to sow wildflowers!

There began an exhilarating back-n-forth sprint beneath the gentle rain. As my rubber-soled slippers collected mud and my pajamas grew soaked, I perfected a system whereby I would fill a pouch (whatever could be found in my flower seed box—an envelope, a coffee filter, the rest of a seed packet) with a mix of semences... next, I dashed through the kitchen, out the carport and beneath the wet sky, scattering seeds all the way!

I haven't a clue what many of the flowers were called or what they looked like (some seeds were taken from mixed wildflower packets) but I had fun imagining which ones I was haphazardly tossing....

And so I scattered "pennycress" and "love in a mist" (I guessed) along the path beneath the front porch...

Then up the stone stairs leading to the back yard, I tossed the orange Mexican poppies (in honor of the lovely stranger on crutches) and purple "Granny's bonnet".

I lined the pétanque court with "starflowers" and "physalis" (aka amour en cage) careful that not one seed should hit the special yard (real French men do not like "love in a cage" encroaching on their playing field).

I scattered Cosmos and Bachelor's Button in the dog yard... until it occurred to me that all the tall flowers might attract ticks. Zut, trop tard...

I knelt beside the sweet stone cabanon and covered the floor before it with "pinkfairies" and "roses of heaven", as well as baby's breath and pieds d'alouette, or larkspur. I tucked in several mammoth sunflowers that would tower over the little hut, come late summer. I also planted some artichoke seeds for the vibrant purple contrast beneath the sunny yellow flowers.

As I rested on the ground I could smell the freshly turned earth which woke up all of my hibernating senses. I felt my heart beating and my skin was tingling from the fresh air and the rain. I thought about my bed, the place I secretly wanted to spend my morning. How dead it seemed compared to this!

I don't ever want to be a lazybones, I admitted to the little flowers, still in seed form scattered all around me. And I'm not sure if it was the "baby's breath" or the "love in a mist" or which flowers whispered back first, but I took the hint: Keep coming back... they suggested, one after the other. With water! 

I smiled down on the cheering chorus of seeds. Yes, that ought to keep these lazybones out of bed! That plus I can't wait to see what the little cheerleaders will grow up to be, whether Poppies or Soapworts or Busy Lizzies.


To comment on this story, click here. Share your own stories of lackadaisy, or maybe you wanted to share a home remedy for canker sores? Click here to read the comments.

French Vocabulary

quelle horreur!
= Awful thought!
une semence = seed
la pétanque = game of petanque or boules
zut, trop tard = shoot, too late

  Camomile (c) Kristin Espinasse
"Flowerboy" Among the seeds tossed out on Sunday were camomile, the actual plants were gifts from the Dirt Divas. I had save the flower heads (unsure of where exactly the seeds were...) I tore up the flower tops and threw them round... hoping they'll turn into what you see in the photo above (our garden back in Sainte Cécile).

Jacques and Kristi weaving lavender
Brother-in-law Jacques and I, weaving lavender wands or les bouteilles de lavande. Have you planted lavender in your garden or in pots on your window sill? You, too, could make a lavender wand this summer! Watch Marie-Françoise make one here. Photo taken in 2008.

Italian gardening (c) Kristin Espinasse
Space-saver gardening, for when you don't have a field to scatter seeds--this is just as sweet!

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Have always wondered how they make those lavender wands! Vitamin C is good for mouth ulcers (as we call them in the UK) they can be very painful! Love the flower photos, we had a lovely flower bed once where we scattered lots of poppy seeds, all different shades and sizes!

Eileen - Charlottesville, VA

Hi Kristin,
I love the photo of Smokey in the garden and of course you and Jacques making lavender wands. I just love the smell while weaving. It's fun to do with friends in the summer while sipping lavender lemonade! :-)
Do you all have something called Abreva in France. It works like a charm on canker sores. It comes in a patch or a cream.
We have snow here in Charlottesville! Spring is Wednesday, isn't it?
Happy Monday!

Eileen - Charlottesville, VA

I think I confused canker sore with cold sore. Abreva works on cold sores!

Bruce in northwest Connecticut

Yes, "canker sore" is an ugly-sounding term. But "aphte," while it looks unattractive, sounds quite lovely.

Speaking of "aft," I'm in the same boat as you, Kristin. My wife and daughter are away, and I'm finding it very hard to get motivated to do anything. (Sadly, this includes my actual work work.) Good for you for being so productive!

P.S. I'm loving all the cool names of the flowers you strewed.


When I was taking methotrexate, the doctor prescribed folic acid to help prevent mouth sores which often develop when taking that medicine. It would be worth checking out, to see if a B vitamin is the answer. One of those helpful French pharmacists could help.
I love the lavender wands, great idea. I just need a better harvest, to have enough lavender to make them.


My mother used to call them "lie bumps." Oh, how that urged me toward honesty, as I hated those nasty little sores. As an adult, I learned they are often an allergic reaction to eating walnuts or pecans. I have tested this theory and find I always have a canker sore within a day or two of eating those nuts.


Over the years I think I've tried every home remedy out there: lysine, yogurt, vitamin B supplements, Listerine, Peridex, etc. The latter two worked for awhile -- I spent a small fortune in France buying Listerine -- but eventually they always came back. The dentists and doctors I've asked uniformly say I just have to live with them.

However, in the last year I've discovered baking soda, and I have to echo your husband's advice. It has been a miracle, I get fewer sores, and those I have aren't nearly so painful. The way I use it might be slightly novel: each evening I sprinkle a bit of soda (say, 1/8 tsp) into a shot glass, fill it half full with water, mix it up, and then use it as a mouthwash. The water should be just slightly brackish.

Your suggestion of an acidic mouth is my theory of why it works so well. I can feel the difference in my mouth each morning -- almost as if it's "drier," or "puckered."

Having said all this, I'm not sure that any solution works for everyone. People seem to get canker sores for different reasons, and you have to keep searching until you find something that works for you.


Kristen, I think I can help, having the same tendency. I, too, was eating a lot of oranges and drinking orange juice when the condition started to flair up and be quite painful. I had no idea what is was..went to a doctor who said:
"it's Only canker sores" and gave no advise. I went on the Internet and found a list of possible acidic culprits. Started avoiding these foods, and no more problem. I do have to be careful, but do not have to avoid everything acidic. Strawberries, oranges, pineapple and hot pepper flakes seem to cause them for me, but everyone has different triggers. I am at the point that, if I eat certain things, I get a small disturbance, but no pain, and the sore goes away if I again eliminate completely the trigger foods.
Another doctor called it a contact allergy or sensitivity. Does this help?

Wells Edmundson

The best home remedy that I have found is to swish sauerkraut juice 3 times a day...the ulcer heals within 3days for most people
Wells, MD

Jeanne Gocert

Will we need to remind you to send photos of all those lovely flowers in bloom ? I can't wait to see them. If I tried that the seeds would fall on hardened clay with a blanket of snow on top! No spring in Ohio yet.

Vance Anderson-Inks

My father always put Alum on our canker sores. It actually seals them, boy, does it taste horrible, though. Sometimes he would put a milk of magnesium tablet on it, and just let it dissolve. You can rinse your mouth with Hydrogen peroxide, or apply carbimide peroxide. These all work very quickly. Good luck with un aphte, and your freshly scattered flowers.


Chère Kristi, I still have my gorgeous lavender wand that you made for me and brought with you ads a kind gift to me when you & Jean-Marc stayed with me in Paris when you spoke at Shakespeare & Co and he poured the Rouge-Bleu wines. Do you remember? It was lovingly packed when we sold our Paris apartment and made it back safely with me in US and gives me just as much enjoyment here. I have a lovely photo of it hanging from the keyhole in the living room hutch where it was proudly displayed until we moved. Love it - love you, xx Robin


My precious Kristi,

You will never know the joy your writing brings to me - to wake up and find myself dancing through the misty rain deep in the forest above the sea is beyond my wildest dreams. I could feel your heart beating in this story. You simply amaze me. I wanted to be there but then I realized that this was a moment souly (sp?) designed and orcastrated (sp?) by Heaven above. Made for only you - and you were able to share a moment that we all were able to join in, with all of your charm and joy we have once again been elevated to what is possible in our daily lives.

You have become all that I have desired in my life...I am speaking now of the grace you acquired regarding your writing. Your gift of expression has been finetuned over the years and now it is almost as though you are singing the song I have always wanted to sing. Thank you Honey for your unselfishness in sharing your most private moments.

I love you so much, my heart is full of love for you this morning. You have once again gifted me with your soul.



p.s. To any of you out there that don't know me - Kristi and I decided long ago that I was free to express myself here with out worrying about my spelling and grammar. We have both given ourselves permission to just jump on our keyboard and express ourselves 'in the moment' - as we feel that is what is most important at this time of our lives. Please forgive all of my errors, as I know alot of you are fine-tuned in the art of writing...right now I am jumping back and forth in 'real-time' wondering if I should put a " ' " here or there, a ',' etc. and this all just 'shut's me down' - therefore, I am now off to my canvas where none of these rules apply. A language of my own in vivid color awaits me on my terrace - oh my - I feel so alive this morning. It must be Spring...yes...once again, thanks Kristi for sprinkling your love all over my day.

Julie Farrar

I had this vision of you dancing through your yard like a flower fairy, scattering seeds in your wake like with the wave of a magic wand. Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday. The thought of flowers always gets me moving and outside.

Kristin Espinasse

Jumping into the comments now, answering a little out of sequence :

Brent, in addition to your confirming JMs tip--I loved learning the word *brackish*. I will try to use it (both the remedy and the new vocab word!)

Angela, thanks for the UK equivalent--glad to add it to the post. Seems that in the US the term is either canker sore or mouth sore (I see Carol used this term).

Eileen, not sure if Abreva exists here.

Bruce, there were so many more names and terms (such as to scatter the seeds *à la volée*; wish I had taken a little more time to write the story. Will hope to add to it. Also, loved learning the term *strewed* . Thanks and hope to use it in a future flower story!

JeanneRobin re your note: :: My mother used to call them lie bumps. Oh, how that urged me toward honesty. :: (Also, I did eat a lot of peanuts recently... do those count?)

Jeanne, thanks--that does help, but I dont want to give up the citrus fruits ... and strawberry season has just begun!

French Word-A-Day

Book: Blossoming in Provence: 

Latest video from France/sign up to our channel:

Phyllis Adatto

Looking forward to seeing all the pretty flowers in June!

Maureen from Germany

Hi Kristi, for any sores in the mouth, ginger is good. Take a piece about the size of a pingpong ball; scrape off the skin and chop it up small. Pour half a litre of hot water over it and use it as a douche de la bouche! Keep it in your mouth as long as you can before spitting it into the loo. Ginger is fab for disinfecting. It's also a GREAT breakfast drink: keeps my arthritis pains at bay and I never get the flu or colds and sniffles. Good luck. Your story today is amazing, a female Johnny Appleseed in France, sowing beauty. Can't wait to see photos down the track!! Blessings!


I would love to see a photo of the pètanque court! I have to be diligent with own to make sure no flowers from the garden creep onto the playing service.

Kristin Espinasse

Robin, so touched you reminded me of the lavender wand I made for you! 

Well, thanks, I happen to have a jar of saurkraut in the fridge!

Jeanne G. and Phyllis, you are really motivating me to not forget to water or to return to my lazybones ways!

Vance, enjoying these tips!

MOM, Aw, I never know which stories might sing to you, but knowing one did always sings right back to me! Thanks for your delightful note - never worry about spelling or punctuation. I never want to miss out on one of your letters because of grammar or an errant apostrophe! XOXOXO

Thank, Julile :-)

Maureen, I love ginger, only it has been a few weeks since I have had any. Time to get back! 

Joel Ostroff


I understand the pain you suffer from the canker sore(s). May I suggest, if you can find it in France, that you apply Camphophenique using a cotton swab to the sore. It will taste horrible but it will numb the sore significantly and will help speed its healing. Bon chance!

diane hart

Vitamin C is a great vitamin but quite acidic. I take 1,000 unit of Lysine & C and that seems to keep cancer sores and cold sores from ever starting. This of course is my observation only. I find if I dont take C and Lysine i get them.

Julia Frey

My MD in France cures canker sores with an off-label use of an ulcer-calming "suspension buvable" called ULCAR (sucralfate). It comes in 1 g packets and you just open one and suck out the liquid, sluice it around your mouth, and when you feel like it, swallow it. Works great. It rarely take more than 1-2 packets. I'm pretty sure you can get it w/out an ordonnance -- ask your pharmacist. all best,


Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut Kristin,

There’s been a trend here in Phoenix the last few years to have daisies and poppies growing in the desert landscapes of homes. With the temperature in the 85-90+ range here the last couple of weeks, many yards are a blanket of yellow flowers . . . very pretty.

I still don’t have doctor’s permission to go hiking in the desert following my surgery, but I’m sure that it's beautiful also since we had some good rains this spring.

À la prochaine

Kristin Espinasse

Enjoying your tips.  Thank you! Herm, I would love to see these Phoenix gardens. Sigh....

Gary, you can see a picture of the pétanque court here

P.S. did anyone receive todays edition via email? It did not seem to go out today. Since the US time change, I am having difficulty programming the timed delivery for these posts.

Diane Young

"The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la". You are inspiring me to get some seeds, which I've never tried with any success. Sounds a lot better than planting flowers from pots! Years ago I had a bottle of perfume called "Fleurs de Rocaille" which smelled so good. I eventually learned that the name meant rock flowers. I'll bet you could even grow them.

Kristin Espinasse

Diane, It occurred to me a little late in the activity... to loosen up the soil. I did this in front of the cabanon as the earth there was so soft that it was an easy chore. I think those seeds will have a better chance than the others. When we planted wildflowers in Ste Cecile, the first year we were there, we had a thriving field of them! That is because the earth there was so loose, as the dirt was brought in to fill in the land. 

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Kristin . . I received you email notice at 6:18 AM this morning ....tout va bien

Tonya in Arkansas

Well, I'm sorry if I am repeating someone, but I MUST tell you something that works, period, on "cold or canker sores". Mine is a family that was plagued by "fever blisters" and I had tried everything. I researched what I found and it is a total cure, IF you maintain enough in your system. People who have insufficient lysine, made by the body, often get these blisters. I take 1000 mgs of L-Lysine a day. It's often on sale at the grocery store.. (I hope you find it in France.) But, since I started it years ago, I've had no sore make it to the top of the skin. If I feel that little itch or burn, I take a couple of extra tabs.. and that sucker backs down in a day or so with no eruption. I believe, also, since these creepy things are caused by herpes simplex, a virus, that it's a good preventive for other, more evil, viruses.(Yep, that's the plural!
God bless you and KILL the virus!

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks Herm! I will now stop trying to force the automatic delivery feature used to send out out the blog posts via email!

David in Alexandria, VA

Canker sores and mouth ulcers thrive in an amino acid most commonly found in nuts and chocolate. The same virus is inhibited by an amino acid found in tuna and steak. I read an article about this when I was a student a long time ago and have found that it is true. As soon as I eat something with nuts, within 12 hours I'll have a cold sore and/or mouth ulcers. If I eat tuna, it helps prevent them when I've eaten something accidentally with bits of nuts. Hope this helps. Have a tuna casserole or a big steak!


You write so beautifully and have clearly inherited your talent from your lovely mother! I so look forward to your posts, too. I almost feel as though I'm right there, right next to you, in France.

And let's hear it for all the other Virginia followers - I'm in Ashland (about 20 miles north of Richmond, a charming, tiny railroad town) and we also have about two inches of snow - and its three days before the first day of Spring!

Barbara in Maryland

Sounds weird, but a drop of hydrogen peroxide on the sore works for me every time. Looking forward to seeing your pictures of the beautiful flowers you are going to be enjoying come summer!

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, David. I have had both peanuts and tuna this week... but I always exaggerate on the peanuts. I love shelling them and eating them.

SuSu, that is wonderfully encouraging. Merci beaucoup!


I've had few canker sores, but I've always used salt on them and that seems to offer nearly immediate relief. (And, yes, I do imagine that all of the oranges could have something to do with your getting one.)


Hi dear Kristi,
I'm so sorry that I have no suggestions on how to get rid of that painful aphte, only hopes and prayers that it will be gone, and SOON!
Your post today was wonderful,and I especially enjoyed seeing those beautiful pictures (such cute scarecrows!),though(as always) your words painted pictures to take us right there with you.
I know how it is with your hubby away on business (my Rod was gone a lot) and you are so right to do fun,and beautiful projects! A "Girl's Day' is also great!
Love, Natalia XO


I've done a bit of off-handed reading on canker sores (pain is a great motivator). If the various articles I've seen are correct, it seems the sores have at least five possible causes. This may be partly why there are so many home remedies, and why everyone swears by a different one:

1) Allergies to certain foods (nuts, chocolate, cinnamon, etc.);

2) Lack of some nutrient or amino acid (Lysine, Vitamin B12, etc.);

3) Auto-immune disorder such that the body's immune system attacks itself;

4) Systemic response to environmental situations (stress, lack of sleep, etc.); and

5) Acid-mouth theory, which may not actually be a separate cause, but related to (3).

For a long time I thought the cause in my case was bacteriological, similar to the h pylori associated with stomach ulcers. I could control my sores using anti-bacterial mouthwashes (Listerine, Peridex, and hydrogen peroxide for some people). But those stopped working after a few years, and that theory went out the window for me.

My current "acid-mouth" theory may stop working someday, too, but I have high hopes.

Incidentally, some of the other suggestions here are similar in nature to baking soda, in that they change the chemistry of the mouth: sauerkraut juice is high in salt and probiotics; Alum and black tea bags are all astringents; and Milk of magnesia and any other antacid (Tumms, etc.) neutralize acids.

Kristin Espinasse

Brent, that helps clarify things and sheds light on why the different remedies work at different times, for different people. Thanks and I hope your current theory lasts for as long as possible. :-)


Kristi--thanks for the link to the petanque court photo that I missed in an earlier FWAD. Perhaps some day Jean-Marc will give me a "lesson" on that court some day...

Yes, keep working on the flowers. that was something i loved about your previous house.

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks for noticing and remembering the flowers, Gary. And the petanque court is waiting for you!

Bill Facker

Kristin .. Your energy is "Peaking Out" today ... it is obvious you jumped out of bed and just kept on jumping! If any of those seeds were infused with your personal super charged self today, I won't be surprised if some sprout and break the surface tomorrow .. You go Girl! Aloha!


You have unleashed the 'writing spirit'!
There has been a change of voice - this one is confident, honest, entertaining and truly Kristin. You are sharing your 'whole self' and we are uplifted by those moments.....happy, angry, excited....
We have all been there; want to be there or arefascinated by something alien to our own lives.
Shall we continue on your journey.......
May the flowers grow with the life and vitality as your life stories!

Deborah J

My daughter gets frequent canker sores and swears that black licorice is the best remedy she's found. I bet it's the best-tasting of all those mentioned, anyway!

Laura Collins

Over the years, I've found taking some (inexpensive) L-Lysine pills over a day or two does the job. It's an amino acid and is widely available. Sometimes it's seemed related to stress so I always take a small pillbox with L-Lysine in it when traveling. Laura C.

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

Yes, I got my e-mail on Monday (still Monday where I live), at 8:16 am Central Daylight Time. Opened it about 12 hours later, being slow.

Sowing seeds in the middle of March -- how different is your climate from where I am! If I still had my own garden the only seed I could put out is snow peas or sugar snap peas, which grow and fruit before the summer heat. Any other annual flower seeds to wait for far warmer soil. Even too early for greens, which also like cooler weather.

Sounds like so much fun to sow flower seeds all over your new place, and then watch what comes up.

The whole time in your pajamas, too!

Marshall Morton

A jump shift in topic! Sorry about your waking up to an empty room but Jean-Marc will be in a good place tomorrow--my hometown of Charlottesville, Va. A lot of interested people will be there--including my wife and me--and we're looking forward to a fine time at the Clifton Inn. Very sorry we won't have the opportunity to meet you then, too. We've followed you for years and really know him mainly thru you. Looking forward to closing the loop.


Kristin,a sage leaf will help tremendously. I discovered this about a year ago, and it is the very best canker sore remedy. Just hold the leaf on the sore with your tongue for about fifteen minutes and the pain will go away, and the canker sore will shrink in size. It'll be gone in a couple of days.


Hello Kristin,
I am wondering why I am now receiving only one post at a time. I can't always check my emails or get to my computer on a daily basis and enjoyed being able to read at least three posts at a time. I really liked when we could read several. Is there a particular reason only one shows up now. Is there a way to see more like five at a time (when I go away for a week I don't take a computer, I need to get my husband away from them)


Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm ~ Applegate, Oregon

Oh, Kristi! I am still smiling. You begin with canker sores, scarecrows and fat mornings, feeling your reluctance to even lift your head, and by the end you have us dancing through the rain casting seeds with the lightness of spring.

This lazybones, who loves to lie in bed, is simply delighted by your sweet story. I so love your conversation with the future flowers. Yes, for me too, it is Mother Nature who greets me each morning (and a farm full of animals)and makes me thankful I got out of bed. xoxo


My husband often would get canker sores, we never could figure out why,however, by rinsing his mouth with milk of magnesia,coating the cold sores before retiring for the night, helped relieve the discomfort and eventually went away.Hope this helps..


My dental technician gave me a possible new remedy for canker sores this week, a gel product from a company called PerioSciences. It's a rather "granola" sounding technique, but I'm open to anything, like many sufferers. The baking soda and alum techniques I've been trying work to reduce pain, but they don't seem to speed up the healing process. This new gel is supposed to "oxgenate" the gums and somehow do that. I tried the sample product she gave me, and it seems to be helping. I'll be curious whether it works longer term.

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