Nobody enjoys canker sores. These unsightly, painful mouth ulcers can seem like a real plague to many of us. I have friends that rarely experience one, and then there is me. I’m the gal that has a canker sore before every major event in my life, including exchanging wedding vows, speaking to large crowds during seminars and before every vacation. Today I want to use my experience with canker sores to share what I have discovered and how you can survive them.
The official name for a canker sore is Aphthous Stomatus. Canker Sores are ulcers that rise inside the mouth including on the sides of your mouth and tongue. They are not pretty to look at. Canker sores look like a tiny ulcer with the sore being surrounded by red inflamed skin, and the center looks white and infected. Canker sores can show up with their cousin, the cold sore, which can be found on the outside of the mouth. Cold sores are unsightly, but it is my strong opinion that canker sores are much more painful.
Canker sores can show up for a variety of reasons. The one reason is due to certain types of food. Consuming these foods can increase the chances of an outbreak in people that are more susceptible to getting canker sores. These foods include wheat, rye, barley, nuts, soy, chocolate, shellfish, acidic fruits like tomatoes, pineapples, vinegar and milk. This is not a complete list but it will get you started. Studies show that reducing the intake of some of these ‘triggers’ can reduce the chance of canker sores.
Vitamin B deficiency and stress are also suspected triggers for canker sores. Oral trauma such as biting the inside of your mouth, ill-fitting dental work or recent dental activities can cause canker sores. Also women have reason to suspect their menstruation to be a culprit as well.
Two things have helped me survive these pesky ulcers: keeping a journal of my canker sores outbreaks and eating lots of yogurt. Journaling the outbreaks helped me discover that I am more susceptible to an outbreak during the beginning of my menstruation and during times of stress. This worked for me because, with this knowledge, I have been able to reduce my number of ulcers. During those times, I cut back on the foods I have listed and increase my Vitamin B intake. But don’t rely on my results. Keep a journal for yourself, recording the events in your life during the time of each outbreak. This will help you personalize a game plan for surviving outbreaks.
When one slips past my guard, which still happens, I eat yogurt. Leaving a little yogurt on my canker sores for a few seconds soothes the pain, and yogurt is a definite deterrent to canker sores. With the help of your journal, you too can survive canker sores.