Getting to the bottom of canker sores
SUMMARY: Canker sores are caused by many different things, but switching up your diet can help prevent them from popping up.
Posted: October 12, 2012
It’s no surprise that eating certain foods will cause mouth issues like canker sores, but the real reason why these annoying sores pop up is unknown. If you are someone that suffers from frequent canker sores, you probably know these can be painful and irritating. Luckily, there are several known triggers that can be avoided by changing your diet.
Medically referred to as aphthous stomatitis, canker sores are thought to be triggered by smoking, stress or abrasions; however, an individual's diet may be the culprit as well. According to MSN, several studies have linked vitamin B12 and iron to the mouth ulcers. A study in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology from 2002 tested the blood of 61 adults, including 35 individuals who suffered from canker sores a minimum of three times in the past year. This study found a trend of lower levels of folic acids and iron, but the small sample provides little definitive evidence that these deficiencies are the source of canker sores.
Some possible triggers relate to the food someone eats or harsh toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Foods that could cause canker sores include coffee, chocolate, strawberries, eggs, nuts or very acidic foods like pineapple and oranges. It may be tough to cut all these items out of your diet, but for someone experiencing frequent sores, it may be helpful to limit intake, or balance it out with some home remedies.
Typically, you don’t need treatment for canker sores and they often lessen in a few days. There are a few ways to speed up the process, though. Steering clear of spicy foods will help, because they tend to irritate a tender sore. Similarly, foods that are very hot temperature-wise may cause issues. Although its known to be slightly spicy, sprinkling some cayenne pepper on a dish can help desensitize the nerves that cause pain from canker sores. Other herbs and plants like aloe, the all-around soothing super plant, or sage help dull the pain. If you have an aloe plant at home, rinse your mouth with some of the inner juice, or steep about three tablespoons of sage leaves in one pint boiling water for an at-home rinse.
To really get to the source of these troubling mouth sores, purchasing specialty mouth rinses, particularly ones that are alcohol-free will target bacteria and may help. An oxygenating solution will soothe sores while eliminating bad breath at the same time.