Millions of people are affected by Canker sores of the mouth. These sore are painful open sores of the mouth. Most people are under the impression that they are viral infections and are contagious however, this is far from the truth. These ulcers are different than the herpes type lesions that are contagious. It is a condition that affects women more than men.
What can trigger Canker sores:
1) Citrus fruits
2) Trauma (from tooth brush, braces)
3) Stress (sickness)
4) Lack of sleep
5) Sudden weight loss
6) Vitamin deficiency (B12, Folic acid)
7) Certain types of chemotherapy
8) Common in patients with crohn’s disease
9) Toothpaste’s containing sodium laurel sulfate
10) Allergic reaction to certain foods( chocolate)
What really causes canker sores is not entirely known however this is an area of research. It is believed that immune deficiency may be responsible. Canker sores and cold sores have been used interchangeably to refer to the same condition but there are differences. Canker sores form on the movable parts of the mouth such as lips and inside cheeks and they are not contagious. Cold sores form on the non moveable parts of the mouth such as the roof of the mouth and they are viral and contagious. The reason these sore are so painful is because they are ulcerations and expose the sensitive tissue underneath.
Remedies for mouth sores:
1) Brush with soft toothbrush and floss daily and have regular cleanings
2) Avoid commercial toothpastes that contain Sodium laurel sulfate
3) Avoid acidic and spicy foods such as vinegar and citrus
4) Rinse with hydrogen peroxide diluted in water
5) Reduce stressful situations in life
6) Avoid abrasive foods (potato chips)
7) Rinse with Benadryl allergy liquid
These sores do not reflect an underlying cause of illness however, if they come too frequently your healthcare provider can order tests that would assure there is no serious underlying cause such as Crohn’s disease,Celiac disease Lupus or even AIDS.