Ask Larry:
What do you recommend for multiple lip and mouth sores from lupus flare ups? It is preventing my daughter from eating and talking… very painful. They last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Larry’s Response:
There are a number of things that can trigger mouth sores, which are commonly associated with a virus – the same one that is related to chicken pox. It remains dormant until there is a breakdown in the immune system or a trigger is encountered that activates it. Regardless, the viral infection needs to be kept in check and treated when it isn’t.

The first thing I’d suggest is to begin using a quality probiotic supplement. I usually recommend Florajen 3. One daily is great for preventing flare ups. When sores appear, I suggest using 3 to 4 a day for a week, then 2 a day until the sores clear, then back to one daily (basically forever).

Viruses can be activated by certain amino acids and foods. They can also be kept in control by an amino acid called lysine. In addition to probiotics, I usually suggest taking a daily dose of lysine – and increasing it to 4 times as much when an outbreak occurs.

When I first started in practice, a pharmacist I worked for suggested chewing and swishing Lactinex tablets (contained lactobacillus – one of the probiotics found in Florajen 3). I’ve suggested that people can open a capsule of Florajen 3 and put part of it in a small medicine cup of water and use it to swish and SWALLOW – and NOT drinking any more water for at least 15 minutes after. The Florajen is practically tasteless and doesn’t bother users.

Finally, use clean water and avoid irritating foods and drinks – especially soda pop and anything that contains processed carbohydrates (mainly sugars).

One final “culprit” could be sodium lauryl sulfate, which is found in most dental products. It is very irritating and should be completely eliminated. If she must use toothpaste that contains this substance, she should be sure to rinse completely afterwards.

I hope this can be helpful. If something isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to write again.

There is more information on our website. See this page on Cold Sores.