Hope for oral ulcers in diabetes patients

Epidermal growth factor, used to manage diabetic foot ulcers, may also be used to effectively treat oral ulcers in diabetes patients, a new study has found.

EGF has been found to stimulate cell growth and is frequently used to promote healing in slow healing diabetic foot wounds. The protein also plays a significant role in maintaining oral health.

Researchers at Banaras Hindu University in India used topical application of EGF to treat a 45-year-old diabetes patient with a chronic non-healing aphthous mouth ulcer. The ulcer had shown no signs of healing for six months, which the study's authors attributed to diabetes' effect on wound healing.

Once the patient achieved normal glycemic control, topical EGF and antiseptics were applied to the ulcer to stimulate healing. The ulcer showed signs of healing by the eighth day. By the 21st day, the ulcer had completely healed. 

“There have been very few studies regarding use of epithelial growth factor in management of non-healing wounds in the oral cavity,” wrote researcher Richik Tripathi, B.D.S., M.D.S. “In our case, we used it with caution and discontinued its application once epithelialization started.”