Canker sores occur fairly commonly. These temporary lesions of the mouth can be chalked up to a few different causes. There are various things you can do to avoid and get rid of canker sores, as certain natural products can help treat them effectively.
Canker Sores: A (Typically Minor) Nuisance
Canker sores are small lesions that occur in the mouth or at the base of the gums. They are distinctly different from cold sores, which occur almost solely on the lips and are contagious. Canker sores are not contagious, and usually go away naturally in less than two weeks.
These minor lesions are uncomfortable for a few different reasons. Canker sores are typically white or yellow in color, with a red border. If you get one, it is not unsurprising to feel a bit of disgust upon looking at the canker sore in the mirror. A more pronounced effect of canker sores is the pain they can cause. The lesion can be sore, and it can cause minor pain when eating, swallowing, or even talking.
There are a few different potential causes of canker sores. Physical causes can include injury or irritation from dental work or overzealous brushing, food sensitivities (e.g. coffee, chocolate), and also the use of toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate. Significant stress can also precipitate canker sores; excessive stress can negatively affect the immune system, which protects against all types of infection, including canker sores.
Natural Products to Diminish and Prevent Canker Sores
Lysine is an amino acid; Amino acids are what make up many different types of proteins. Lysine is important for tissue repair. Supplementing with lysine can get rid of canker sores quickly, and it can also help prevent them.
Basil is an herb common in some culinary traditions. Basil actually has anti-microbial properties, which makes it potentially effective in treating canker sores. There are various ways to take basil orally, including as a supplement.
Apple cider vinegar contains an ingredient known as acetic acid, which can help get rid of negative bacteria. Swishing with an apple cider vinegar/water solution can be an effective remedy to help get rid of canker sores quicker.
Alum powder is a natural remedy that works as an astringent. This means that it can help soothe and cleanse the tissue in the mouth, and also help rid excess moisture, which precipitates the formation and staying power of a canker sore.
Zinc is important to prevent canker sores. A zinc deficiency is a common precipitating factor for canker sores, and recurring canker sores. Taking a zinc supplement on a regular basis can dramatically lower the chances of your developing a canker sore, and it can help prevent them as well.
Vitamin B12 is another supplement that can affect canker sores. B12 deficiency is a precipitating factor for canker sores; supplementing with B12 helps prevent them.
Although minor in nature, canker sores are a sometimes-painful nuisance. Consider keeping one or more of the natural vitamins and supplements above in your medicine cabinet, so you can prevent and treat canker sores. Always talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements.