Minimizing Canker Sores

Nobody knows exactly why people get canker sores. But it’s a fact that certain things seem to exacerbate them in some people, and make them appear more frequently. Dr. Jimmy Wu of Sutra Dental Spa in La Mesa, California, discusses here how you can minimize these nuisances.

Let’s face it, we all hate getting canker sores. These annoying little mouth ulcers, which go by the scientific name of aphthous stomatitis, usually take a while to go away, and can range from mildly unpleasant to extremely painful. Some people are prone to them more than others, and some people are bothered by them more than others.

But no matter how much or how little canker sores can bother you, you can take steps to minimize them including:

  • Stop chewing the inside of your mouth. Many people get canker sores from this conscious or unconscious chewing. Quit now.
  • Get broken teeth or fillings taken care of as soon as possible. They can irritate the soft tissues in your mouth and make a canker sore appear.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Vitamin deficiencies can make canker sores rear their ugly heads.
  • Avoid irritating foods. Once you have a sore, help it disappear as soon as possible by not eating spicy or overly acidic foods, drinking too much alcohol, or eating hard, crunchy foods that can irritate the area.
  • Minimize your stress. In some people, canker sores appear when they are overly tense or stressed. If you fall into this category, take steps to reduce your stress levels such as  exercising regularly and keeping a healthy diet.
  • Switch toothpastes. A Norwegian study found that people whose toothpastes contain an ingredient called SLS, or sodium lauryl sulphate, were more prone to getting canker sores than people who used those without that ingredient.
  • Try acidophilus. Eat yogurt or supplements which contain the bacteria acidophilus to keep the sores away.

If you have a canker sore, applying an analgesic gel to the spot and drinking herbal teas can help lessen the pain. Rinsing with saltwater and/or an antibacterial mouthwash can also help. If the pain gets bad, try an Acemannan Hydrogel patch, which has been proven to reduce pain and speed healing time, according to the American Dental Association.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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