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Canker Sores

What causes canker sores?
  • Dietary deficiencies - Iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), folic acid, selenium (Se), calcium, (Ca) vitamins B12, B1, B2 and B6 deficiencies may often result to canker sores.
  • Diseases - Behcet's disease, neutrophil dysfunction disease, inflammatory bowel disease and HIV-AIDS are just a few of the medical conditions which are proven to be associated with the occurrence of canker sores.
  • Drugs and medicines - Possible drugs and medicines which are related to canker sore development are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, beta blockers, chemotherapeutic agens and nicorandil.
  • Food allergies - there are some foods and substances which may trigger breakouts of canker sores. Foods which cause allergy resulting to canker sores differ from person to person. Some food and substance which may cause canker sores are:

    Cereal grains
    - buckwheat, wheat, oats, rye, barley, gluten
    - oranges, lemons, pineapples, apples, figs, tomatoes, strawberries
    Dairy products
    - milk and cheeses

    - nuts, chocolates, shellfish, soy, vinegar, cinnamonaldehyde (flavoring agent), benzoic acid (preservative), toothpastes, mints, chewing gums, dental materials (such as braces, false teeth and retainers) and certain medications.

  • Hormones - According to doctors, more women suffer from canker sores than men. This is explained by the difference in male in female hormones as most women get canker sores during menstrual cycles. Many women also notice occurrence of canker sores during pregnancy.
  • Heredity or genetics - Most studies say that individuals who are always suffering from reoccurrence of canker sores have atleast one parent who experience the condition also.
  • Self-inflicted bites - there are instances when canker sores form days after a the lips or the insides of the mouth have been bitten. The bitten area will first show cuts. Days later, it will swell and the area will turn red in color. Days later, it will burst showing off white blisters.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate - or SLS is a common ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes as a foaming agent. It is associated with canker sores as it has a drying effect which causes the shedding of the outer layer (the protective layer) of the insides of the mouth. When the outer layers are being shed off, tissues underlying beneath become susceptible to canker sores. (read more about SLS here)
  • Stress and fatigue - Studies show that lots of individuals undergoing exams and other stressful events in life suffer from canker sores.

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