Menstrual periods get the blame for a lot of ailments that we females face. Water retention, moodiness, chocolate cravings, and menstrual cramps are just a few of the problems that face some women every single month before or during her period. One menstrual problem getting attention in recent years is the appearance of canker sores at certain times during a woman’s cycle. Though many doctors are quick to brush off this fact, I know my period is on it’s way when an ulcer appears in my mouth. Are canker sores brought on or related to a woman’s menstrual cycle?
What are canker sores?
Canker sores are mouth ulcers or mouth sores, appearing inside the mouth on gums, cheeks, tongues, or the inside of your lips. They are often mistaken for cold sores, but are caused by two different viruses with few similarities. The NIH Medline Plus notes that while “canker sores can run in families” they can also be linked to problems with the immune system, mouth injury, “emotional stress, dietary deficiencies (especially iron, folic acid, or Vitamin B-12), menstrual periods, hormonal changes, food allergies, and similar situations.” There are often cases where the causes of canker sores are unknown.
What is the relationship between menstrual periods and canker sores?
According to Save Your Smile, the relationship between canker sores and a woman’s menstrual cycle isn’t unique to me. In fact, many women suffer from canker sores that may be related to where they are in their cycle. For me, I was clued in to the relationship between my menstrual cycle and my canker sores when I didn’t receive a single mouth ulcer during either of my two pregnancies. Now, canker sores are often the fist sign that the arrival of my period is emminent. If you suspect a relationship between canker sores and your menstrual cycle, you aren’t alone.
Unfortunately, the specifics of this relationship between canker sores and menstrual periods remains unclear. Save Your Smile notes that the suspected relationship between the two “prompted some researchers to experiment with hormonal therapies in hopes of creating a new treatment for canker sores. Unfortunately, these trials were largely unsuccessful.”
Can I treat canker sores that result from my menstrual period?
If canker sores arise as a result or in relation to the onset of your period or your menstrual cycle, it doesn’t appear that you can curb that effect at this time. WebMD notes that you might be able to avoid canker sores by avoiding acidid and spicy foods, being careful while brushing, and not biting your lips.
What else should I know about canker sores and my menstrual period?
As always, any medical concerns should be broached with your primary care physician. In my experience, canker sores typically go away within 1-2 weeks. However, if they don’t or canker sores are causing additional problems or concerns, your doctor should be your first point of contact for more information and other treatment options.
WebMD; Canker Sores; http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/canker-sores
NIH Medline Plus; Canker Sores; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000998.htm
Save Your Smile; Canker Sores; http://www.saveyoursmile.com/cankersores/dzcankersores1.html