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Canker sores are extremely uncomfortable to contend with, so it's best to take action quickly when you know you're in for a visit from the Canker Sore Fairy. Researchers have found that using a chemically altered form of licorice (deglycyrrhizinated licorice aka DGL) works a certain magic by adhering to the inflamed mucous membranes. This action seems to be VERY helpful in reducing canker sore symptoms rapidly and continues to offer pain relief for several hours to follow. The one complaint with using DGL is that it must be sucked to get the helpful protective coating onto the canker sore - and if you aren't a big fan of licorice, this may not be overly enjoyable for you.