A canker sore can appear in anyone’s mouth. But you’re more susceptible than average if you fall into one of three groups, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Women are more likely than men to get canker sores, especially clusters of small lesions.
As you get older, you’ll probably experience fewer outbreaks. For most individuals, the first outbreak occurs between ages 10 and 40.
In this case, it’s an inheritance you’d be better off to avoid. Up to half of individuals who suffer from canker sores report having a close family member with the same problem. Researchers are not completely certain whether this is due strictly to heredity or whether outbreaks are caused by a shared factor in the family members’ environment such as a specific food or an allergen.
Although canker sores frequently recur in individuals with a suspected hereditary link, there are some steps patients can take to prevent an outbreak, Mayo suggests.
Take Care with What You Eat
Over time, you’ll learn the foods most likely to irritate your mouth. The list typically includes nuts, potato chips, pretzels, some spices and salty foods in general. Also on most hit lists: acidic fruits such oranges, grapefruit and pineapple. It might also be worthwhile to be tested to determine any actual food allergies or sensitivities.
Aim for Healthy Foods
Load your grocery cart with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help avoid nutritional deficiencies in your diet. Since acidophilus can ward off canker sores, it’s a good idea to eat yogurt regularly as well.
Avoid Chewing and Talking Simultaneously
Although doing both at the same time is somewhat of a skill, you should avoid it because it can cause minor damage to the delicate lining of your mouth. This trauma can encourage the formation of canker sores.
Make Good Oral Hygiene a Priority
This includes brushing your teeth regularly after each meal. You should also floss your teeth at least once a day to keep your mouth free of any foods or drinks that could trigger a canker sore. Mayo states that it’s best to choose a soft brush to avoid any irritation to the tissues in your mouth and to steer clear of any toothpaste or rinse that contains sodium lauryl sulfate.
Take Steps to Protect Your Mouth
If you wear braces or any other dental appliances, be sure to ask your dentist about orthodontic waxes. They can be helpful in covering the sharp edges of any hardware in your mouth to avoid tears or other injuries, which could lead to canker sores.