Canker Sores are shallow craters or ulcers on the tongue or inside the lip and cheek. They usually have a white or yellow center surrounded by a reddish border. Often, they are painful and they make it difficult for a person to talk or eat. It's possible to have more than one canker sore at a time. This isn't contagious so you can't spread it to other people like cold sores. Anyone can get this mouth ulcer. It commonly affects women, teenagers and young adults. Most people get their first between the ages of 10 and 40.
The cause of this problem is not known, although some experts say it runs in the family.
You are also likely to have canker sores when you:
- when you have braces
- when you have food allergies
- when you have menstrual cycle
- when you are stressed or tired
- when you have bitten your lip or tongue
- when you consume acidic foods and drinks
- when you don't get enough vitamins and minerals
Looking at these probable causes, it already gives you some idea on how to prevent these annoying oral health problems from developing inside your mouth. Here are some preventive measures to keep in mind.
Watch Your Diet
The food and drinks you take in may bring about an episode of canker sores. Some people, for example, have allergies to certain foods and if they consume these, it's possible that they will develop these ulcers inside the mouth. If you have a food allergy, it's best to avoid this as much as possible.
There are also certain foods that have been linked to canker sores. These include:
- whole wheat
- French mustard
If you find that any of these foods are causing you to grow canker sores, then limit your intake of these.
Avoid taking in food and drinks that are too acidic as well. It's a good idea to keep a canker sore record to keep track of foods that bring you this mouth ulcer.
Moreover, it's imperative to have a nutritional diet. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can bring canker sores. Those who are deficient in B vitamins and iron are at great risk of developing these mouth ulcers. It's a must to eat a balanced diet rich in these nutrients. Taking vitamin and mineral supplements may also help.
Check Your Toothpaste
An ingredient that is usually found in toothpastes called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) can cause cankers sores in some people. In a study, participants who constantly had canker sores experienced great relief and dramatic reduction in the occurrence of this mouth condition after using toothpaste that does not contain any SLS.
Lower Stress Levels
When a person is stressed, the body responds with increased heart rate and blood pressure. It also releases cytokines and other chemicals. Uncontrolled stress can lower immune function and increase the risk of various health problems including canker sores. Studies have proven that there is higher incidence of canker sores among people who are stressed. It's recommended for those people who lead stressful lives and constantly suffer from canker sores to reduce their stress levels. This can be achieved through relaxation techniques such as massage therapy, aromatherapy, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and Pilates.