If you’ve ever had a canker sore, there’s a 50 percent chance that you have a family member who has also experienced this painful affliction, according to the Mayo Clinic.
However, the jury’s still out as to whether heredity is the main cause of canker sores. Researchers have been unable to determine if affected family members might have contracted these mouth sores due to environmental irritants or allergens versus getting them courtesy of good old genetics.
In all likelihood, however, your genes might be one of several causes.
Heredity is definitely on the list of causes of canker sores provided by eMedicineHealth. However, in reality, no one knows the exact cause or causes of canker sores. Most people who develop them don’t experience another underlying medical issue as the source of these painful lesions.
According to eMedicineHealth, researchers suspect canker sores arise due to a reaction in your body’s immune system. The site suggests a host of other potential causes. Among them are bacterial infections, hormonal disorders, stress and trauma.
Some drugs have also been cited as potential culprits. Chief among them are anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and beta-blockers like Atenolol. The appearance of these painful sores has also been linked to deficiencies of iron, folic acid and vitamin B12.
Your canker sores might also be caused by sensitivities or allergies to specific foods. Common offenders include chocolate, nuts, tomatoes and acidic food such as citrus and pineapple. If you experience recurrent canker sore outbreaks, you should also consider avoiding any dental care products containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
Researchers have concluded from some studies that there might be a link between an outbreak and the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, also the cause of peptic ulcers. Recurrent sores have also been tracked to patients suffering from two inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. As a matter of fact, the appearance of a canker sore can be an early sign of an impending flare of either illness.
If you suffer from Celiac Sprue, which results in a sensitivity to gluten, you’re more likely to suffer from canker sores than the general population. This is due to mal-absorption caused by gluten intolerance related to proteins in wheat, barley and rye.
Medical providers also recognize a probable link between having Behcet’s disease. Individuals with this condition frequently suffer from canker sores, genital sores that resemble them and eye inflammations. Having the AIDS virus has also been linked to having canker sores.
It’s important to note, eMedicineHealth advises, that canker sores are not caused by the Herpes virus that’s responsible for cold sores.