How to treat recurrent aphthous ulcers

May 21, 2019
Bruce Hamilton, DDS

Bruce Hamilton, DDS, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, where he is an assistant professor in the general dentistry department.

Anne Hill, DDS

Anne Hill, DDS, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and a member of the International Association for Dental Researchers, American Dental Education Association and American Association for Women Dentists. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in the department of general dentistry.

Danita Adams, RDH

Danita Adams, RDH, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and a member of the American Dental Hygienist Association and the Academy of Dental Education Association. She is currently working as an instructor at the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in the department of periodontology.

Pamela Albin, RDH, BS

Pamela Albin, RDH, BS, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and a member of the American Dental Hygienist Association and Tennessee Dental Hygienist Association. She is currently a clinical instructor in the dental hygiene department at the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry.

Why four dental professionals recommend DEBACTEROL.

The most common oral pathology dentists see in their practices is ulceration of the oral mucosa. One in five Americans suffers daily from the pain of aphthous ulcers, or canker sores.1 Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) produces oral ulcerations classified as minor, major and herpetiform, depending on size and number.2 There are many predisposing factors contributing to RAS, including genetics, trauma, tobacco and drug use, vitamin deficiencies and stress.3

DEBACTEROL® by EPIEN Medical is a simple-to-use, highly effective treatment for oral ulcers. It’s a chemical cautery agent composed of sulfuric acid and sulfonated phenolics in an aqueous solution. Taking less than one minute to apply, it seals the ulcer by dessicating the most superficial layer and converting it into a layer of coagulum. This layer acts as a protective barrier blocking any painful irritants from contacting the ulcerated area underneath.

DEBACTEROL comes in a single-use, cotton-tipped, prefilled swab. Dry the affected area using one end of the swabs, and then completely snap off the swab at the color ring. The DEBACTEROL will then flow into the applicator at the opposite end. Simply dry and apply to the ulcerated area for five to 10 seconds, rinse thoroughly and expectorate. 

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Four dental professionals shared their thoughts on DEBACTEROL.

What Anne Hill, DDS, says about DEBACTEROL:

I frequently get recurrent aphthous ulcers and have struggled to find a product that worked quickly and with little mess. I used an over-the-counter product that was hard to apply, worked for a very limited time, and needed to be reapplied multiple times during the day. I read online about a new product called DEBACTEROL and ordered some that day. The next time I had an ulcer, I was eager to try it out, and after one application, the pain was gone and never returned. My sister suffers from ulcers five to 10 times per year and after sending some to her, she was sold on the product after the first use. There aren’t many products that are truly life-changing for people who suffer from recurrent ulcers, but this product is one. The single-use applicators make it easy to carry, easy to apply and easdy to dispose of.

What Bruce Hamilton, DDS, says about DEBACTEROL:

Aphthous ulcers, or canker sores, are painful and can be debilitating. These ulcers are so painful that patients don’t mind the slight stinging that accompanies DEBACTEROL’S use. I like the fact that the DEBACTEROL delivery system is unit-dosed for infection control. I like the fact that it’s patient-friendly. I also like the fact that it’s less expensive than other treatments for aphthous ulcers.

What Danita Adams, RDH, says about DEBACTEROL:

I’m a dental hygienist, and treating a child with an aphthous ulcer is difficult. The ulcers make the patient uncomfortable and resistant to treatment. Aphthous ulcers make food and fluid intake problematic and could result in dehydration. Orthodontic appliances, cheek biting, or spicy/acidic foods can trigger these ulcers. There’s no cure for aphthous ulcers, but DEBACTEROL relieves the immediate pain. This early intervention allows treatment to continue, and it allows the child to maintain nutrition and fluid intake.

What Pamela Albin, RDH, says about DEBACTEROL:

Recurrent aphthous ulcers are one of the more painful oral lesions people face, occurring in all ages.  Due to tissue movement as we eat, drink and talk, the affected area is in constant pain. As a dental hygienist, I was often asked for product suggestions but never had a good recommendation until I discovered DEBACTEROL. As one who has suffered from mouth ulcers, I’ve always been looking for a good product, and now I’ve found one. DEBACTEROL is easy to use with minimal discomfort.  Application is simple with the one-time-use, disposable swab. Relief is quick with lasting results, and there’s no need for reapplication throughout the day. I’ve found DEBACTORAL to be an excellent treatment to help heal and bring relief from the constant pain of mouth ulcers.


1. S.O. Akintoye et al., Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis Dent. Clin. N. Am. 49(2005): 31-47.
2. Greenberg MS, Glick M. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker Inc; 2003. Burket's Oral Medicine Diagnosis and Treatment; pp. 51–68.
3. Preeti L, Magesh K, Rajkumar K, Karthik R. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2011; 15(3):252–256. doi:10.4103/0973-029X.86669.