A canker sore is a small ulcer that develops inside the mouth on soft areas like the base of the gums, inside cheeks, or inside the lips. They are not cold sores, and they are not contagious. But canker sores can be painful and uncomfortable for days. Depending on where they are located, they can make speaking and eating difficult. Here are a few tips to help you prevent canker sores
What causes canker sores?
Unfortunately, there is no known cause of canker sores. They do tend to run in families, so kids are more likely to get them if their parents have dealt with them. Although it’s not known directly what causes canker sores, they can appear if you:
- Feel stressed
- Feel exhausted
- Injure your mouth
- Wear traditional braces
- Have allergies
- Eat or drink highly acidic foods and drinks
- Have a vitamin deficiency
- Have an immune disease such as celiac, IBD, HIV, or Lupus
Can I start eating healthy foods to prevent a canker sore?
If you are prone to getting canker sores, there may be a few changes you can make to help prevent them. You may be able to eat healthy foods to prevent canker sores as well as make some changes to your lifestyle. Dr. Petinge offers a few ideas that can help you prevent them.
- Try limiting your intake of highly acidic foods and drinks. If you notice fewer canker sores, you can slowly add them back into your diet.
- If you are feeling sick or rundown, get plenty of rest. See your primary healthcare provider to see if any underlying conditions are influencing your tiredness or illness.
- Try reducing your stress levels. Try yoga, exercise, deep breathing, and other strategies for helping to manage stress.
- Dentures and traditional metal braces can rub against the inside of your cheeks and cause sores and discomfort. Dental wax can be used on braces to provide a layer of protection. Schedule a checkup with Petinge Dental to see if dentures or braces can be adjusted.
- Good oral hygiene is essential to help prevent or treat canker sores. If your mouth has unchecked decay, plaque, or bacteria building up, then it can make it more difficult for the natural defenses of the body to fight.
Five Healthy Food Habits to Help Prevent Canker Sores
If your canker sores are due to a vitamin deficiency, there are some dietary changes you can make to help prevent them from recurring. Here are five great habits to try:
- Get plenty of B12, iron, and folate in your diet.
- Talk to your primary care or dietician about taking a supplement.
- Eat lots of nutrient-rich fresh foods like parsley, kale, carrots, and spinach.
- Yogurt contains natural probiotics that can be beneficial for your body’s immune system.
- Boost your protein intake.
What to do if You Get a Canker Sore
Sometimes despite your best efforts, you may get a painful canker sore. If you do, here are a few tips to help speed healing and shorten its duration.
- Apply topical analgesic obtained from a local pharmacy.
- Take over-the-counter pain meds like Tylenol.
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. This can help speed healing and decrease inflammation.
- Use only a soft-bristled brush to avoid irritation.
Ask Dr. Petinge About Canker Sores
If you still have any questions about canker sores or your oral health care, contact us at Petinge Dental. We’ll be happy to address your concerns and answer your questions. Is it time for your routine visit? Call today to get it scheduled!