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Canker sores or aphthous ulcers are annoying to say the least. These small ulcers appear in the mouth and can cause a large amount of pain and discomfort to those afflicted. Considered to be triggered by numerous factors such as stress, changes in hormones, exposure to certain foods, the presence of a viral infection and trauma, canker sores are hard to prevent and sometimes hard to treat as, in many cases, the ulcer has to run its course, so it can self-heal. Understanding what can trigger and irritate canker sores may be the best way to control an outbreak and reduce discomfort.
It’s important to differentiate between canker sores and cold sores. Unlike cold sores that appear on outer lips, around the nose and on the chin, canker sores only appear inside the mouth on soft tissue and are usually located on gums, under or on the tongue, and on cheek tissue. The good news is that canker sores aren’t contagious and will usually heal without any form of medical intervention within ten days. While the canker sore is present, it’s normal to feel a little under the weather as the immune system is working hard to clear the ulcer.
It is believed that individuals who are depleted of certain vitamins and minerals may be more prone to canker sores. B12, zinc, iron, and calcium all seem to play a part in protecting the outer membrane of the mouth and help to reduce the occurrence of sores. And this makes sense; after all, a diet that does not provide essential nutrients stresses the immune system and opens the door for infections, viruses, bacterial activity, and general poor health. Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals will help you to prevent, shorten, and heal canker sores.
Foods that are highly acidic may trigger a canker sore and delay its healing. Citrus fruit along with strawberries and apples can aggravate the already inflamed tissue of a canker sore, so avoiding acidic foods like these fruits and vinegar-based condiments will help to reduce pain and speed the healing.
Follow our next blog to discover options for helping canker sores heal quickly and how cold sores impact a dental appointment. Need more information regarding treating canker sores right now? Contact Centennial Smiles Dental today at (587) 317‑7959