4 Ways to Treat Canker Sores and Prevent Their Return
Anyone who is susceptible to canker sores will tell you that they are a painful nuisance. Eating, drinking, and talking become agonizing chores, and the unavoidable grimace on your face as you struggle through the pain can be embarrassing.
Unlike cold sores, canker sores are the result of inflammation. Your genes determine whether or not you actually get them, but their appearance is often related to something else that is happening in the body. Canker sores can appear as a result of a food allergy, a weakened immune system, or stress. Other than the physical trauma that occurs when you chomp down on your tongue or cheek, canker sores usually have an underlying cause.
Avoid Allergenic Foods
Food allergies often cause inflammation in parts of the body other than the digestive tract. In fact, people who have celiac disease are more likely to have other inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease. Even if you have not tested positive for celiac disease, canker sores may be the result of a gluten intolerance.
Another common trigger for canker sores is citric acid. A glass of orange juice can easily bring on a canker sore flare-up. Citric acid is also a commonly used preservative, and is found in many processed foods and dietary supplements.
If you find that you are suffering with canker sores on a regular basis, keep a food diary and record the severity and occurrences of your flare-ups.
Correct a Nutritional Deficiency
A food allergy or intolerance can interrupt your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. For example, people with celiac disease have been found to suffer with symptoms of malnutrition. Even if you consume all of the nutrients your body needs, you may still suffer from malnutrition if your body isn’t able to utilize them.
Canker sores can be an indication that you are depleted in certain nutrients. They are often linked to a vitamin B deficiency, especially B12 and niacin. An iron deficiency may also be the instigator.
Some diets lack important nutrients and may require dietary supplements. For example, meats are the best sources of B vitamins and iron. Therefore, it is important for vegetarians and vegans to take a B-complex vitamin. Iron supplements may also be required if a blood test shows low levels.
Boost a Weak Immune System
Canker sores can often be an outward sign of a weakened immune system. You may find yourself prone to developing a new canker sore when you are feeling fatigued or ill.
Vitamin C supports your immune system and helps to heal your sores. Choose a supplement that uses a buffered, non-acidic form of vitamin C.
A probiotic supplement can help build up your intestinal lining that may be damaged from food allergies. You need a healthy intestinal tract in order to absorb nutrients and keep toxins from entering into your bloodstream.
Coconut oil is a beneficial supplement with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that help support your body’s defenses. If you take a teaspoon of coconut oil and hold it in your mouth in the area of the sore, it soothes the painful burning sensation and kills harmful bacteria.
Black tea is high in tannin, an astringent found in plants This substance has also been shown to be effective in helping to heal canker sores.
Practice Stress-Relief Methods
Stress plays a big part in increasing the number and severity of canker sores. Stress suppresses your immune system, which can contribute to a wide range of health problems.
When you get that dreaded sensation of a newly forming canker sore, your first priority is to keep it from becoming too severe and multiplying throughout your mouth. Look for possible food allergies, determine if you are deficient in certain nutrients, boost your immune system, and lower your stress levels in order to heal canker sores quickly and prevent new ones from starting.