- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How to Treat and Prevent Chronic Canker Sores in the Mouth
If you've ever had canker sores, which are sores in your mouth, you know how painful they can be. It can make eating a very unpleasant experience. Even talking can be uncomfortable. Food and drink, like orange juice or chocolate, can really make the infected area sting. People that rarely get canker sores tend to endure them until they eventually go away. Others, who suffer with them more frequently, may need immediate and long term answers to remedy this condition. Traditional methods of treatment include harsh chemical antiseptics, creams and rinses by doctors. Unfortunately, these treatments cannot prevent or cure this condition long term. Natural treatments are much more safe and provide an effective long term solution.
Over 60 million people in the United State alone get canker sores. Sores in the mouth are also known as Apthous ulcers, are painful little, white ulcers with a red border that can form anywhere inside the mouth. They can appear singly or in small groups. Healing time can take up to two weeks without any treatment and even longer if they are unusually large. They can range in size from very small to over an inch. Ongoing high levels of stress and certain foods are triggers for recurring canker sores.
Food allergies have been considered a major cause of recurring sores in mouth. Even if you don't have any known symptoms of foods allergies they may be involved. Food allergies you used to have as a child can resurface later in life in a hidden form that may be responsible for canker sores. Many people with canker sores have been found to be allergic to gluten. It is important to find out if you are allergic to any foods, and if so, elliminate them.
People who have heavily used antibiotics or eat a lot of white flour and white sugar, sweets and chocolates can be more susceptable to canker sores because they promote bad bacteria which compromises the immune system. Chronic canker sores may also be caused by digestive diseases, improper dental hygiene and high levels of continual stress. Canker sores have been found to form when certain nutrients are low or missing. Many times they occur with anemia when vitamin B12, iron and folic acid are lacking. Small mouth injuries can lead to canker sores. People have found that when they supplement their diet with the needed nutrients, their chronic, recurring, symptoms disappeared. Zinc deficiency has also been found to cause canker sores.
A mixture of sodium bicarbonate powder and water is an excellent first aid treatment. It can be used to rinse the mouth and even swallowed to help reduce body acidity. There are a number of toothpastes available that contain sodium bicarbonate, which would be a better choice than standard brands that are high in various chemicals. Another very effective, immediate relief remedy is deglycyrrhizinated licorice lozenges which can be slowly dissolved in the mouth to relieve pain and to help with healing. Studies have shown that people using glycyrrhizinated licorice have had 50 to 75% relief from pain within 24 hours.
Eating plain, white unsweetened yogurt several times daily has been found to shorten the time it takes to heal canker sores because it produces beneficial bacteria that fights infection and overcomes bad bacteria throughout the body. Foods rich in B vitamins such as green, leafy vegetables and whole grains will help the body to better cope with stress. HIgh acid foods such as tea, chocolate, red meat, fried foods, processed foods and alcohol should be avoided. High allergy foods like wheat, nuts, rye, milk and dairy products should be avoided for several months and food allergy testing should be done through a natural health-care provider.
Supplements that are effective in treating canker sores include probiotics for good bacteria repopulation, vitamin B complex (50mg 3 times daily) and zinc lozenges (one15mg lozenges every three hours while awake. a maximum of 5 daily for 2 days ) to boost immunity and speed healing time, and extra Vitamin B3 (50mg 3 times daily. Do not take if you have gout, high blood pressure or a liver disorder). B3 or niacin deficiency has been linked to the development of canker sores. Tea tree oil can be applied directly to the canker sore. It has a numbing affect and prevents infection.
Sores in the mouth are a sign of health problems in the body. Making changes in diet and adding the appropriate supplements will not only treat and cure irritating canker sores but will help to eliminate any health disorders in the body.