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Aloe vera can be used to treat oral ailments

Winter weather seems to make chapped lips, canker sores, cold sores and other oral problems even more uncomfortable.

The journal General Dentistry recommends trying a natural, cost-effective substance to treat a variety of oral problems — the aloe vera plant.

According to researchers, aloe vera speeds healing and reduces pain associated with canker sores and doesn’t sting or taste bad when applied. Aloe vera juice can be taken as a drink or gel can be applied topically, according to the researchers.

Researchers said aloe vera has been found effective in treating canker sores, cold sores, herpes simplex viruses and lichen planus, a recurring, itchy inflammatory rash or lesion on the skin or in the mouth. Aloe vera lip balm is also an effective healer for chapped lips.

Ask your dentist for more information on when and how to use aloe. For more information on common mouth sores, log on to the American Dental Association Web site at "".

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