Replying to Oral lichen planus

Oral lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the mucous membranes inside your mouth. It may present as white, lacy patches; with reddened, swollen tissues; or it can manifest as open sores or lesions. The condition can cause a burning sensation, pain and on-going discomfort.

I recently had a person contact me with it to inquire about for herbs to boost the immune system. My advice was and is don’t do that – OLP is possibly an autoimmune disorder (jury still out in some quarters) but certainly it is a case of white blood cells attacking the wrong things. So improving your white cell count could do more harm.

Although it has nothing to do with poor oral hygiene – regular dental hygienist cleans were helpful. I know it may be difficult to brush and gargle with the symptoms but don’t slacken off. Avoid alcohol based mouth washes and maybe try a kid’s toothpaste (milder).

There was some research I read a while back about turmeric easing the flare ups of mouth illnesses and also its capacity to strengthening gum and tongue health – I’m not a ‘google it’ fan but check that out. You could easily make a home turmeric mouthwash.

My personal advice would be to note and deal with the triggers – that may be certain foods and beverages that set if off – cut them out. All food may irritate in a flare up but if spicy foods or acidic foods have you on fire for a week then enough of the spice and tomatoes.

Corticosteroids are often prescribed to reduce inflammation related to oral lichen planus and there are other drugs that lower the immune system to tackle the condition but like most autoimmune conditions – stress is the main trigger to flare ups. Get to a yoga class, do some mindfulness or meditation, chill with a box set regularly – whatever busts that stress will help ( but not wine and cigarettes).

Homemade rosemary mouth was is great to cleanse and refresh but also to be a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Oil pulling with coconut oil (rich in pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties) is beneficial to many but a bit stinging to some. So while there is no magic bullet – taking care of your general health and de-stressing will minimize flare ups.

I do explore mouth and gum complaints in more depth in the beauty book including the linked-in ailments of bleeding, inflammation and gingivitis that accompany OLP. If it’s not in your local library try here

About The Holistic Gardener

author of wellness books, columnist, keynote speaker.
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