Dentistry on Sheppard
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April 27, 2022 / DENTISTRY
Lichen Planus is a common auto-immune, inflammatory condition most notably of the mucous membranes inside your mouth. Lichen Planus affects approximately 1% of the population (most commonly middle-aged females) and usually appears as white or red striated areas or erosive sores.
Often Lichen Planus (L.P.) is asymptomatic but more severe cases can cause burning, pain, or other discomfort. Severe cases of L.P. can also increase the risk for oral cancer.
Since L.P. is a chronic life-long condition, for which there is no cure, a palliative approach is taken. Numbing agents and corticosteroids are common treatments. Corticosteroids are usually given topically as mouthwashes, ointments or gels applied directly to the affected mucosa. Corticosteroids are not particularly effective and have some side effects.
Aloe Vera offers a natural alternative to corticosteroids. Aloe Vera (A.V.) contains healthy plant compounds like vitamins and amino acids, has powerful antioxidants from the polyphenol family and accelerates wound healing (which is why it is used as a skin protectant and topical treatment for first- and second-degree bums).
However, A.V. is a liver and thyroid toxin and should never be ingested. We recommend A.V. be used as a gel and any excess expectorated.
Aloe Vera gel when applied to Lichen Planus has been shown to be a superior treatment to steroid ointment. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trail of 54 patients showed no serious side effects and a good response to A.V. in 80% of patients while only 4% of placebo patients had a good response. A.V. Gel can be considered a natural, effective treatment for L.P.
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