By Julie-Ann Amos
Although no one has yet been able to find a cure-all for canker sores, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your risk. Canker sores on the tongue, mouth, and cheek are normally quite painful, which is probably why you are reading this article. So, let’s get right into it.
• One of the most common causes of cankers is physical trauma to the mouth. Sometimes this comes from dental work like braces or dentures, or even from sports or biting the side of your cheek accidentally while chewing gum. If you know you are prone to them (more than 3 or 4 times a month), you would be wise to avoid chewing gum, and if you have braces, you can ask your dentist for orthodontic wax to cover the sharp edges.
• Watch what you eat. You’ll notice that certain foods seem to trigger an outbreak of cankers, like pretzels or potato chips, even acidic fruits like lemon, pineapple, or oranges. One approach to preventative needed treatment is to keep what’s called a “food diary” and compare it at the end of the month with your canker sore outbreaks.
• Another good reason to do the food journal thing is that some people get canker sores because of vitamin or nutritional deficiencies. Some of the vitamins and nutrients that may be at fault include B1, B2, B6, B12, C, zinc, folic acid, iron, calcium, and selenium. Go over the food journal results with your doctor and see if he thinks a blood test might reveal anything lacking.
• A simple canker cure that many people have used is just changing to a toothpaste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Almost all the toothpastes on the market today include this compound, which is also used as an engine degreaser and floor cleaner, and is a powerful surfactant. Toothpaste companies like it because it makes happy bubbles when you brush your teeth; your mouth may not like it so much.
• Try to relax. Some evidence links cankers on the tongue, cheeks, and mouth to higher stress levels, specifically to students during exam time who reported a higher incidence of cankers. But students aren’t the only ones who experience stress; emotional or psychological stress can come from work or home as well. Exercise, prayer, or just a much-needed vacation can be just the canker sore cure you needed in that case. Hey, when life hands you lemons…
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