Canker sores are small ulcers found inside your mouth. They are not the same thing as cold sores and they are not contagious. Many researchers believe that canker sores are caused by the same factors as peptic ulcers; however, it is still not known what really causes canker sores to develop. While the root cause of a canker sore outbreak is not known, there do seem to be a few things that trigger canker sores. If you want to prevent canker sores, you need to change your lifestyle slightly to keep these factors under control.
Adjusting Your Nutrition to Prevent Canker Sores
The first lifestyle changes that you need to make to prevent canker sores is to adjust your nutrition. Deficiencies in iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid all seem to be common triggers for canker sores. If you have had canker sores develop in the past, you will want to start taking a nutritional supplement that contains these nutrients. A simple multivitamin designed for your gender can help keep canker sores from developing.
Balance Your Hormones
Hormonal irregularities have also been known to cause canker sores. This is most likely why so many adolescents get them. For women, hormonal problems caused by their menstrual cycle can lead to the development of canker sores. Fortunately, an oral contraceptive can help to keep their hormones balanced and prevent canker sores.
Make Adjustments to Prevent Oral Trauma
Oral traumas are another causal factor linked to the development of canker sores. Oral traumas can be caused by brushing too hard, eating foods that are sharp and even talking while you are chewing. Oral traumas that lead to a lesion or breaking of the skin inside of the mouth make your mouth vulnerable to bacterial infections, which can lead to canker sores. By avoiding things that cause oral traumas you can reduce your chances of developing canker sores.
Charting Your Canker Sores
Since there are so many different ways in which canker sores can develop, it is a good idea to keep a journal to chart when you develop canker sores. Your journal entries will need to note what foods you are eating, where in your menstrual cycle you are (for women), if you had an oral trauma and any other pieces of information you can think of. After a few outbreaks of canker sores, you will be able to identify a pattern of factors that are triggering your outbreaks. For example, your canker sores may be caused by a specific type of food that you are eating or even by the toothpaste that you are using. Toothpaste that contains lauryl sulfate can lead to canker sores. Once the cause of your outbreaks has been identified, you can make lifestyle changes to correct the problem.