What causes canker sores?
Your mouth is one of the most sensitive parts of your body, so when you have a sore it can be extremely uncomfortable! Enjoying your favorite foods and beverages can be challenging - especially if you like to sprinkle tabasco or red pepper flakes on your meal. Spicy food is an enemy of canker sores, just like hot beverages and citrus. If you feel a sore coming on, put that pineapple down and pick up a bowl of ice cream instead. That’s right, ice cream helps ease the pain - yum!
These annoying mouth sores are very common, and even more so in women than men. Doctors aren’t really sure why they show up more commonly in some people than others, but luckily they are not contagious. They can actually indicate a lot of different things, but are often a direct reflection of your body and health.
“If your eyes are a window into your soul, your mouth is a gateway into your health,” Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist told Mother Nature Network. “The way I treat patients who come to me, I connect the mouth with the rest of the body because I do believe we’re a unit, and we’re no longer separating the two.”
Where do canker sores come from?
Canker sores can be caused by a weak immune system, hormonal changes, stress, a lack of vitamins and minerals, food allergies, biting of the inside of the mouth, mouth jewelry or abrasive mouthwash. If you tend to experience canker sores often, you may want to invest in a natural, alcohol free mouthwash that won’t cause issues in your mouth.
Stress is a major culprit of canker sores! Feeling overwhelmed is very difficult on your entire body, and that includes your mouth. During college exams or busy times at work, you may not be getting enough sleep and your body can become unbalanced. Not only can this lead to sores, it can also cause dry mouth because the production of saliva is hindered.
Sensitivity to food, allergies or nutritional deficiencies may play a role in the appearance of canker sores in your mouth. There are a lot of people that have been experiencing gluten intolerance in recent years, and one of the first signs of this allergy is mouth sores. Also known as celiac disease, canker sores in the mouths of people with this condition may mean they are consuming wheat, rye and barley.
Getting canker sores may not mean that you have an extreme case of sensitivity to foods, but it may be part of an allergy. These small ulcers can be triggered by eating nuts, coffee, eggs and chocolate - which many people are allergic to.
Frequent sores in your mouth may also mean that you aren’t getting the correct amount of certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, folic acid and zinc. Folic acid is usually found in leafy greens, dried beans and nuts, and zinc is found in meats and oysters. B12 is also found in meats and oysters, as well as crab, salmon and some cereals.
Luckily, mouth sores usually go away within 10 to 14 days, and not much effort is needed to get rid of canker sores. However, to speed up the process you should use alcohol free mouthwash and make sure to keep your mouth as clean as possible. Pain relievers may help you with eating food, and using hydrogen peroxide on the sore may help with recovery as well.