Website only available in portrait format.
Say goodbye to canker sores: how to prevent them and end the discomfort

Say goodbye to canker sores: how to prevent them and end the discomfort

Who hasn’t suffered from canker sores at some stage or other? No one escapes from these small mouth lesions. Together with tooth decay, they are one of the most common oral diseases. They are particularly common among children and young people, although they also bother many adults who continue to suffer from them during adulthood.

If you are one of the people who suffer from them on a regular basis, you will know that the pain that they cause, and their appearance is unmistakeable. They appear without any prior warning, and they bring discomfort, a burning sensation on the inner cheeks, the tongue or lips and they look like small white wounds surrounded by a reddish halo.

In extreme cases, they can even cause fever and general discomfort and even though canker sores are benign most of the time, these signs might point to the presence of systemic or more serious diseases. This is when you should go to see a doctor.

But why do they appear? can we avoid them? how can we get rid of them? ¡We will answer all these questions in this blog!

Why they appear and how to prevent them

In order to prevent canker sores and get rid of them as soon as possible, you must first understand what causes them to appear. These causes include:

  • A genetic predisposition. If several members of your family show a tendency to suffer from them on a recurring basis, it is quite likely that sooner or later you will suffer from them too. Their causes include a genetic component. In these cases, you should be informed and prepared for when they do appear.

  • Traumatisms. Mouth ulcers can form when the membrane covering the inside of the mouth gets damaged by a blow, bite or lip injury. The use of a gumshield when playing hazardous sports can reduce damage of this nature.

  • Orthodontics or dental prothesis. As we have already seen in other posts, orthodontics can affect our oral health. Sometimes, the hardness of the materials can cause chafing and produce small wounds on the cheeks. The use of orthodontic wax or silicone applied locally to the appliance can prevent the mucosa from being affected by friction.

  • Bad eating habits or constantly suffering stress are two very common reasons that explain the appearance of canker sores. Improving one’s diet, doing relaxation exercises and eating foods with a high Vitamin A content, such as dairy products, egg yolk and oily fish, can help to strengthen the immunological system.
  • Endocrine factors. Irregularities or hormonal changes, especially those that women experience during their menstrual cycle, can also cause the appearance of mouth ulcers.
  • Aggressive brushing of teeth. When very hard brushes are used or if brushes used incorrectly, mouth injuries caused by aggressive brushing can appear. It is important to choose the toothbrush that is best adapted to each mouth and to employ a good toothbrushing technique.
  • Diseases and disorders. Inflammatory intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis are common causes for the appearance of sores. They can also be caused by Celiac Disease, by having Behçet’s Disease, which produces an inflammation of the entire body, or by suffering from deficiencies in the immune system. You should see a health professional If you feel you might be suffering from any of these diseases.

How to eliminate canker sores

How to eliminate canker sores

These injuries usually disappear on their own within 10 – 14 days, without leaving any scars or causing any complications. But can we reduce the pain that they cause? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Even though there is no specific therapy for this complaint, there are local topical treatments such as sprays and rinses that have been specifically designed to ease the discomfort and reduce inflammation.

On other occasions, a medical or pharmaceutical professional may make a diagnosis and recommend certain antibiotics or treatments with corticoids, especially when topical treatments have not brought satisfactory results.

Moreover, another aspect that you should also consider, and something that you must have surely realised, is that you cannot eat everything and anything that you want if you want to recover quickly.

Foods to avoid:

  • Foods such as potatoes or semolina. These foods can stick to mouth injuries.
  • Foods that can cause mechanical chafing when they are being eaten, such as toast, biscuits, hard stale bread or cereals.
  • Acidic, bitter, spicy and very salty foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes; or spices such as chili powder, curry and hot sauces. Consuming them is counterproductive when the mucosa is affected by canker sores.

We hope that we have managed to clear up any doubts you may have had and that you can now help to prevent these small (but big and irksome) oral inconveniences. Bye-bye canker sores!

Back to Blog