Canker sores are known to be very unpredictable in nature and quite uncomfortable for many who suffer from them. Canker sores (also called apthous ulcers) are white sores, not blisters, that occur inside the mouth. They range in size from small dots to large coin sized ulcerations. They can be quite painful, may make eating, speaking or even just smiling difficult, and may take 1-2 weeks to heal.
Canker sores have been studied clinically for years, but the exact cause remains a mystery to clinicians. They have been linked to a person’s genetic background, increased stress, or even minor dental trauma. The big question remains, what should you do to avoid canker sores?
Tips To Avoid Canker Sores
Maintain Proper Nutrition.
It is important to maintain proper eating habits ensuring you are ingesting the right mix of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. Nutritional deficiencies have been shown to cause mouth ulcers. Researchers have shown that vitamin B12, zinc, iron, l-lysine, and folic acid are all very helpful in preventing oral sores.
Avoid Certain Foods.
If you are suffering from a canker sore you should restrict your diet. Acidic drinks (such as orange juice or lemonade) can irritate the canker sores and actually prolong the healing process. Eating chocolate is a known trigger for apthous ulcers.
Change Oral Hygiene Products.
The bubbling agent in toothpaste can be an irritant to the oral tissues. If you notice sloughing tissues, red irritated tissue, and frequent canker sores, you may want to cut out regular toothpaste. Experiment with some new dental hygiene products that are gentler on your mouth. There are specialized canker sore toothpastes specially formulated not to irritate the mouth.
These toothpastes are sodium lauryl sulfate free (SLS). Sodium lauryl sulfate is generally used in toothpastes to produce that foaming action when brushing. It is believed that removing SLS will reduce the incidence of canker sores.
Large jumps in hormones such as during menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy can trigger canker sores.
Certain medications may trigger apthous ulcers such as Nicorandil, a medicine used in patients with angina.
What To Do If The Sores Persist
These topical canker sore treatments chemically cauterize the ulcer. The relief is instantaneous, and the healing is within days instead of weeks. Drinking milk is supposed to help decrease canker sore outbreaks.
This is supposed to help decrease canker sore outbreaks. -Supplement with a multivitamin to be sure you are getting everything your body needs.
If you are experiencing persistent sores in one area of the mouth, call your dentist and make an appointment to get the surrounding teeth and gums checked.
You should contact your dentist about oral sores if you have the following:
- -Unusually large sores.
- -Sores that are spreading.
- -Sores that last 3 weeks or longer.
- -Intolerable pain despite avoiding trigger foods and taking over-the-counter pain medication.
- -Difficulty drinking enough fluids.
- -A high fever along with the appearance of the canker sores.
Canker sores can be uncomfortable and even debilitating but there are steps that can be taken to relieve them when they occur and in some cases avoid them completely. The frequency with which you develop sores, the size of them, and how long they last are important. Discuss all of this with your dentist so that he/she may assess whether they are typical canker sores or a more serious issue which may require further treatment and investigation.