Canker sores are non-contagious though painful ulcers that form either at the base of gums or on the soft tissue within the mouth. Since researchers increasingly suspect that canker sores are caused by a complex interaction between multiple factors, it logically follows that canker sore prevention should entail a similarly multi-factorial approach. It’s no longer new that a trip to the dentist is the main way to prevent oral disease. But sometimes, a canker sore prevention takes more than just that. Read on for some other ways to prevent canker sores.
Diet is an intuitive place to start when devising a plan to combat the appearance of canker sores. Salty, spicy, and acidic foods are known canker sore triggers and as such should be avoided if a clear correlation can be found between their consumption and a canker sore outbreak. In this regard, it may prove helpful to keep a food diary in order to accurately record food and drink intake and to chart any potential relationship with the onset of canker sores. On a similar note, foodstuffs to which a person is sensitive or allergic should, as stands to commonsense, also be excluded.
More broadly speaking, the nutritional benefits derived from maintaining a healthy diet can also reduce the risk of developing canker sores. On this note, it’s worth bearing in mind that deficiencies in vitamin B-12, folic acid, iron, and zinc have all been linked with elevated rates of canker sore development. In some cases, in order to both restore a healthy nutritional balance and potentially boost resistance to canker sores, it may be prudent to take vitamin and supplements.
Minimizing the chance of injury to the inside of the mouth is another sensible precaution worth taking. This is simply due to the fact that such injuries increase the likelihood of canker sores. As a result, something as straightforward as chewing more carefully can be considered an effective means of lowering the risk of a canker sore outbreak. Likewise, applying orthodontic waxes to dental appliances such as braces can also help limit the chance of canker sores by reducing the risk of injury to the mouth.
Practicing good oral hygiene is another important part of reducing the probability of a canker sore outbreak. As may be expected, regular brushing and flossing are crucial. However, there are also other factors which need to be considered. For example, since brushing vigorously with a hard toothbrush can irritate mouth tissue, it is preferable to couple a soft brush with a gentle brushing technique in order to best minimize the potential for canker sores. Moreover, kinds of toothpaste or mouthwash which contain sodium lauryl sulfate have been identified as potential canker sore risk factors and consequently should be avoided.
Another factor commonly associated with the appearance of canker sores is stress. For those prone to canker sores prompted by stress, a wide range of stress relieving techniques including counselling, physical exercise, and increased social interaction should be considered as part of their overall prevention strategy.
All in all, effective canker sore prevention mirrors the complexity of its causes, which are both varied and rooted in individual differences.