Canker sores might be small, but they could lead to painful problems. They may look like shallow sores that can be seen on your gums, and they usually start out as tiny reddish bumps, but they could burst into a yellowish or whitish membrane.
Left unaddressed, canker sores could last for two to three weeks, so knowing what’s causing them can help. Unfortunately, it’s still unclear why they develop, so prevention is not always feasible. However, you can follow the tips below to help reduce their frequency:
- List what you eat and drink, paying close attention to whenever you develop canker sores. This will help you figure out if there’s any correlation between the foods and drinks you consume and the likelihood that you’ll get a canker sore after consuming such food and drinks. Take note that specific food items (such as citrus and acidic meals, hard bread, and corn and potato chips) and drinks (like tomatoes and oranges) are known trigger foods for canker sores.
- For most people, changing and improving their oral health habits can help reduce their chances of developing canker sores. This includes brushing and flossing at least two times a day to get rid of bacteria and germ buildup. Dentists in South Jordan add that it’s also worth investigating if you experience a difference when using mouthwashes and toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This is a potent foaming agent that has been found to increase the recurrence of canker sore rates, as it can easily dry out oral tissues and make them vulnerable to even the simplest irritants, like consuming acidic food and drinks or when you mistakenly bite your gums.
- If you suffer from vitamin deficiency, most notably B vitamins, selenium, folic acid, and zinc, taking supplements could help reduce your risk of developing canker sores. Make sure to ask your doctor about this so you can undergo blood tests to confirm which vitamins you’re lacking.
- Check your diet. Make sure to eat a balanced and healthy diet to provide you with sufficient nutrients every single day. Generally speaking, you need to eat ample veggies and fruits, whole grains, healthy oils, and lean meats.
- In some cases, people also develop canker sores when they are stressed. If this applies to you, you need to keep your stress levels under control. Get lots of sleep, eat a diet specific to increasing energy levels, get regular exercise, do things that will help bust your stress or really enjoy doing, practice meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises, and if needed, schedule a therapy session.
Take note that you should never ignore recurrent canker sores. If you get canker sores regularly, it’s best that you check with your dentist and doctor to figure out if your predisposition to canker sores is due to an underlying health issue. This is especially true if you’re already taking the necessary steps to prevent canker sores to no avail. Your trigger might be a certain food allergy, an autoimmune disease, or a chronic inflammation.