Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are a type of open sore that appears inside the mouth. According to some, the cause is unknown, but sometimes there is a clear cause.
In this article we will look at what a canker sore is, what it is not, and some possible causes. If your canker sores are triggered by one of these causes, then you have a good chance of eliminating canker sores.
A canker sore is a painful open sore that appears in the mouth. It may be on the lips, side of the mouth, back of the throat or under the tongue. It does not appear outside the mouth. A typical canker sore is a couple of millimeters across, with a white bottom and an inflamed red rim.
This is not to be confused with a cold sore (herpes simplex 1) which appears as blisters around the outside of the mouth.
Canker Sore Causes
The cause of a canker sore or aphthous ulcer is not known, but there are a number of possible causes. These include:
- A small injury, such as biting the inside of your mouth
- A reaction to citrus fruits
- Vitamin b12 deficiency
- Iron deficiency
- Folic acid deficiency
- Behcet disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Food allergies
- Immune system reactions
The above is not an exhaustive list, but it does give you the idea that there are many possible causes of this condition. On the other hand, a particular condition does not always produce a canker sore.
Allergies and Canker Sores
Some people with food allergies get a canker sore as one of their symptoms. Some people have reported this as a symptom to nut allergies for example.
Allergies as a cause of canker sores can be hard to pin down. If your allergic reaction is delayed, you may not make the connection with your symptoms and the food causing it. Not all symptoms may appear at the same time. Knowing this is the case, watch out for it. You may discover that canker sores go away when you stop eating certain foods.
One study did show that a cow’s milk allergy can often cause canker sores.
Canker Sores and Toothpaste
Some types of toothpaste can cause canker sores for some people. One reason is a common ingredient ( sodium laurel sulfate, see below) and another seems to be more specific to the types of toothpaste formulated to handle sensitive teeth.
Canker Sores and Sensodyne
If toothpaste such as Sensodyne is the cause, you may be better to have a dentist look into the cause of your sensitive teeth, and quit using the Sensodyne.
The ingredients in Sensodyne are as follows:
- Potassium nitrate
- Sodium fluoride
- Strontium chloride
- Strontium acetate
- Potassium chloride
- Titanium dioxide
Sodium Laurel Sulfate
Sodium laurel sulfate, a foaming agent, may be another cause of canker sores. This is found in many brands of toothpaste. If this is your problem, you will have to find a ‘natural’ brand of toothpaste (note that toothpaste is not natural, it has to be manufactured!). Read ingredients carefully, the word natural is totally meaningless in the world of marketing.
Sodium laurel sulfate is also known as:
- Sodium dodecyl sulfate
- Sodium laurilsulfate
There are many possible causes of canker sores. One is allergies or chemical sensitivities. If you get a lot of canker sores, pay attention to what you eat and how that correlates to your canker sores. With luck you can find the link, eliminate the food or chemical, and live (mostly) canker-sore free and allergy-free.
See also Canker Sores And Hydrogenated Oils.
Thanks to wikipedia for the photo.
What is your experience with canker sores? What seems to be the cause for you? Please leave a comment to help others manager their canker sores.