Having canker sores makes normal, everyday activities such as eating, drinking and even talking quite a discomfort. They appear as painful lesions in the mouth, particularly on the soft palate, inside the cheeks, lips and on the tongue. The precise cause of canker sores is still a mystery, but there is a connection between the onset of the sores and a particular foaming agents that can be found in most common brands of toothpastes.
There are some factors that seem to promote their occurrence, including Injury inside the mouth varying from improper brushing of the teeth to dental work and accidental biting of the tongue and cheeks, as well as an underlying health conditions including problems with the immune system, hormonal fluctuations, deficiency in specific minerals and vitamins and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Sodium lauryl sulfate, has a widespread use as a foaming agent in household cleaning products, saps, shampoos and toothpastes and has been linked to irritation of the soft tissues.
Even if your sores are appearing due to some other, already known reason, you should avoid products containing the foaming agent. It can further aggravate them and may cause the appearance of new canker sores.
If you are positive that sodium lauryl sulfate is the culprit, carefully read through the list of ingredients of the products you use daily.
There are special toothpastes, mouthwashes and over-the-counter remedies that are quite helpful in treating of canker sores such as topical gels and ointments containing lidocaine and benzocaine, anesthetics that are applied directly to the sore with a clean cotton swab to relieve the pain and discomfort. Your doctor or dentist may prescribe some topical antibiotics to reduce the chance of canker sores becoming infected with bacteria.
Antimicrobial mouth rinses containing hydrogen peroxide and mouthwashes made with water, salt and baking soda can be used three to four times a day or after each meal to treat the sores and prevent new ones from appearing.
Hydrogen peroxide has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties, effectively lowering the bacteria count in your mouth reducing swelling, while baking soda and salt act as a natural disinfectant.
If you use a 1% peroxide, you can apply it with a piece of sanitary gauze or a cotton swab directly to the sore. Any stronger than 1% needs to be diluted with water in equal parts. Alternatively, you can wash your mouth with a mixture of two tablespoons of baking soda, one tablespoon of salt and a cup of tepid water. Spit it out after swishing the mixture for about a minute and don’t forget to rinse with a little water.
You can prevent canker sores from developing by avoiding spicy, hot or abrasive and hard foods like peanuts and chips, and acidic fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemon, apples and tomatoes. Brush your teeth gently and try using a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste that does not contain foaming agents.
Consult with your doctor or a dentist if the sores develop frequently or last longer than two weeks.