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What Causes Canker Sores?

Canker sores can be painful and the fact that they appear in the mouth means that they are hard to ignore. Just drinking or eating can lead to an increase in the pain and this takes a lot of enjoyment out of meal times. It is believed that 20% of people will have to deal with these sores at least a few times during their lifetime. These sores are also referred to as aphthous ulcers. They can appear on the tongue, the lips, or the inside of the cheek. Most people will only have or two of these sores at any one time, but they can appear in clusters.

What Causes Canker Sores?

The exact cause of aphthous ulcers is not fully understood. They are believed to occur as a result of a number of different factors including:

  • Certain toothpastes
  • Allergic response to certain oral bacteria
  • Allergies to food
  • Injuries to the inside of the mouth
  • Nutritional deficiencies ( in particular Iron, B12, and Zinc)
  • Weak immune system
  • Infections
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Certain diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Celiac disease, HIV, or Behcet’s disease

Those individuals who have a family history of canker sores are more at risk. It is also more likely for these sores to occur in females than males.

How to Treat Canker Sores

When it comes to treating these ulcers there are a number of options available. In most cases they will disappear within a week or so without any intervention, but if they persist then some type of treatment will be required. Mouthwashes that contain steroid dexamethasone can help deal with any inflammation. This type of mouthwash is only available on prescription so a visit to the doctor will be required. It is also possible to take oral medications that will increase the rate of healing and remove some of the more unpleasant symptoms. The doctor may also prescribe nutritional supplements that will remedy any possible deficiencies.

How to Prevent Canker Sores

Aphthous ulcers are a real nuisance so the best way to deal with them is to prevent them arising in the first place. There are a number of things that people can do to stop these sores occurring including:

  • Eating a balanced diet to ensure that there are no nutritional deficiencies
  • Good dental hygiene is important for keeping the mouth clean and this should make the development of these ulcers less likely
  • Take care when brushing your teeth to not cause any trauma to the inside of the mouth
  • Try not to use any toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate. This ingredient has been associated with the development of this type of ulcer
  • Try to find effective ways for dealing with stress. Techniques such as meditation and yoga are perfect for this. Regular exercise can also be useful for keeping stress levels low
  • If you have any irregular dental surfaces you will want to have these repaired
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How to Get Canker Sores

If you like the idea of having painful sores on the inside of your mouth then just read on. Canker sores are also known as Aphthous ulcers. About one in five of us will experience this condition at some point during our lives. If these odds don’t seem attractive enough for you then there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting these ulcers. Don’t blame me though if people don’t want to kiss you and it feels like someone has just punched you in the mouth.

The Symptoms and Causes of Canker Sores

There are a number of conditions that could be mistaken as canker sores so we will look a bit closer at the symptoms of this condition. There are actually three types of these sores and they vary in severity. The minor sores are the most common; these can be as small as 1mm in diameter and disappear after about a week. Herpetiform ulcers are made up of a number of minor cankers. Major Canker sores can be 10 times the size of the minor ones and they can take up to four times as long to heal. These ulcers are found on the movable parts of your mouth in most instances.

There is confusion about the exact cause of these Aphthous ulcers. It is believed that there can be a number of different factors involved including environmental and hereditary.  Females are more prone to them than men. Some folk have allergies that make them more susceptible to these sores. There are also those individuals who have a faulty immune system and this can cause the sores to appear. In a lot of cases there will be no obvious reason for why the sores have appeared.

How to Get Canker Sores

As mentioned above the causes of canker sores are not fully understood but there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting them.

  • If you have poor nutrition then this will greatly increase your chances of getting canker sores. In particular if you avoid iron, Vitamin B12, and folic acid you will greatly increase your chances of getting these ulcers. Just be prepared though, because lack of these vitamins can make you feel sick in many different ways.
  • Smoking cigarettes is viewed as increasing your risk of developing these mouth ulcers. When it comes to ill-health it seems that you really can’t do better than cigarettes.
  • If you wear dentures then this too can increase your risk of developing this condition. So if you stop taking care of your teeth there may be a nice pair of dentures in your future and maybe even some nice canker sores to go along with it.
  • If you have a lot of stress in your life then this too can increase your chances of developing these sores. So make sure that you keep your stress levels at maximum levels and don’t do anything to bring them down.