Around 20% to 40% of the American population gets canker sores, and often the sores are treated at home without the aid of a doctor.
The sores appear on the inside of the mouth on the soft tissue of the checks and back of the throat. Canker sores are shallow ulcers and are normally about a centimeter in size with a bright red outline.
The ulcer will hurt for seven to ten days, but may take up to six weeks to fully heal There are a number of causes of canker sores and a few different ways to treat them at home.
The exact cause of canker sores are unknown, but it has been proven that there’s a genetic component.
This means that they can and will run in families. Canker sores will also appear when oral trauma has occurred.
This means that if a person chews on or injures the inside of their checks or lips then canker sores will be more likely to pop up.
People with braces also have a higher likelihood of getting canker sores.
Some theories on canker sore causes include excess stress or a lack of restful sleep. Canker sores may also appear after eating food that the person is allergic too or by drinking a lot of acidic juices, like orange and cranberry juice.
It is also believe that if sufficient minerals or vitamins are not provided in the diet then canker sores may appear.
While canker sore causes have not been pinpointed, their treatment has. If a canker sore appears then the person should begin eating soft, non-spicy foods to avoid further irritation to the area. Cutting or mashing the food can also be helpful.
Foods that have high amounts of acid like citrus fruits, pineapples and cooked tomatoes should also be avoided.
Drinking cold beverages can also help avoid further irritation to the ulcer. Hot beverages and those high in caffeine should be avoided.
If the canker sore is too painful to drink or eat then a piece of ice can be held against the area until it is numb. Pain killers that have aspirin or ibuprofen can help ease the pain too.
A salt water rinse can be made by mixing one tablespoon of salt and one cup of warm water. Rinsing the mouth out a few times a day with the salt water can help speed healing. Warning: This will hurt.
After discovering and treating a canker sore most people sigh with relief, but that relief may be short lived.
Canker sores will normally be a recurring problem for most people who get them. It is believed that the sores will occur more frequently during the teenage and early adulthood years, and then as the person ages the sores will occur less often.
To help prevent future canker sores the person should pay attention to what may have caused the sore in the first place. If eating a certain food caused the sore then that food should be avoided. Also, using a soft bristled tooth brush could help prevent trauma to the inside of the mouth.
Any trauma to the inside of the mouth should be avoided. Reducing stress also helps control canker sore outbreaks.
There is also a natural way to get rid of these painful little ulcers. Unbeknownst to much of the population, there’s a common chemical in their toothpaste that has been implicated in canker sores. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is a foaming agent used in a lot of household cleaning products, including most toothpastes, and it has been shown to be a cause for canker sores.
So the simple solution is to stop using commercial toothpaste and replace it with a natural, sodium lauryl sulphate free toothpaste instead. It will take a few weeks or even months, but people who switch to an SLS free toothpaste will see their mouth ulcers diminish over time, to the point that they may never get them again!