Q: I am a 25 year old female. Since the past 2 years, at the time of changing seasons I get a sore mouth and gradually the soreness moves to throat which pains when I swallow. Hot drinks (tea/coffee) and cough syrups make it worse. Is there a remedy?
A:Soreness of the mouth and tongue may be caused by a variety of irritants, such as smoking, bad or jagged teeth, eating peppers or pan or from drinking very hot or acid fluids. Other concerns are ulcerations caused by viruses or altered immunity, yeast infection (often caused by using antibiotics, or by diabetes or altered immunity), viral infections (so called aphthous ulcers), chronic sinus infection, or damage caused by vitamin deficiency. If none of these are thought to be involved, a mild local anesthetic may help. One simple way to get light anaesthesia is by chewing cloves. Another possible remedy is the use of yogurt or a yogurt drink mouthwash. Sometimes, a mouth wash or gargle of a pepper solution can be tolerated: it may worsen the burning at first, but long-lasting relief may follow. Note that some people cannot tolerate this, so a careful initial treatment is required to assess the response.