A canker sore is a small lesion that forms inside the mouth. Medically referred to as an aphthous ulcer, they can affect the inner cheek, inside lower lip, roof of the mouth, or the upper throat. Typically, just one will appear, but in some instances, the sores can form in a small cluster. For information on what causes canker sores, click here.
Canker sores can be painful, disrupting normal activities such as eating, drinking, and talking. They usually heal on their own, but the pain can last for 10 to 14 days. Aside from remedies to ease the pain, treatment is generally not required for minor lesions. However, if you are suffering from larger lesions that are accompanied by excruciating pain and high fever, it is important to see a doctor immediately for further analysis.
Acid Food: Fruits and vegetables such as oranges, apples, pineapples, strawberries, lemons, and tomatoes have high levels of acid. If canker sores occur frequently, it might be best to limit the intake of these foods.
Chewing Gum: Gum typically builds up acid as one chews, with the acid splashing around in the mouth. This action can create an environment conducive to canker sore development, so you might want to limit this activity.
Spicy Food: While you may have a fondness for spicy Buffalo wings or Indian food, spices can exacerbate this problem. Cutting out any type of spicy food can help eliminate the development of new sores.
Oral Hygiene: Using a soft toothbrush will help eliminate the problem of irritating and abrading the tissues in your mouth. The choice of a soft toothbrush, daily flossing, and using a sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)-free toothpaste will help keep outbreaks to a minimum.
Medical intervention may be warranted for canker sores that do not respond to over-the-counter remedies or those that do not heal within two weeks. There is no test or diagnostic exam other than looking at your mouth, however, a doctor will be able to recommend the most optimal treatments. Your doctor may prescribe a topical paste or suggest an over-the-counter ointment that will help relieve pain and speed healing time. The following are doctor prescribed treatments:
If your canker sore is a symptom of a more serious medical condition, your doctor will need to perform additional tests in order to determine the underlying condition and appropriate treatment.
TheraBreath toothpastes and oral hygiene products were created based on extensive research conducted by Dr. Katz. He discovered that many problems arise from chronic dry mouth syndrome, the proliferation of anaerobic bacteria, and an environment devoid of oxygen. Further, many name brand toothpastes contain the abrasive, foaming agent SLS, a surfactant that is also included in cleaning products like detergents and shampoos. Researchers have correlated SLS with recurring canker sores due to its caustic nature and capacity to irritate and abrade sensitive tissues inside the mouth.
TheraBreath products are natural and do not contain SLS, alcohol, benzalkonium chloride, or saccharin. TheraBreath offers several toothpastes that may help prevent the formation of canker sores, while alleviating bad breath and dry mouth.