What are canker sores? What do they cause?
Small canker sores, ulcers and lesions in the mouth are a common and annoying problem that affects about 50% of people at some point in their lives.
These small ulcers are usually white in the center, and ulcers can appear on the inner side of the cheeks, on the tongue, in the throat or on the lips. They cause a burning and painful sensation and make it uncomfortable to talk, drink or eat, especially when food is salty or acidic.
The ulcers usually disappear by themselves in a week or so, however, there are cases when they can last up to a month. As long as you have them, they may create another problem: bad breath.
What causes the sores?
Different factors cause sores in the mouth. One is biting your cheek or tongue when talking or eating. Digestive system disorders such as acid reflux or food sensitivities may also cause them. Less likely causes may be autoimmune diseases or stress.
How to manage canker sore pain and keep your mouth healthy
There are many ways to soothe pain associated with canker sores including holding an ice cube on the affected area. It is also important not to eat or drink acidic or salty foods when you have mouth ulcers, to avoid additional pain.
However, almost all of the most effective, long-term strategies are based on herbs. These include drinking chamomile-infused tea, or applying honey or propolis directly onto the sores.
Additionally, there are specific dietary supplements that support a healthy mouth. These science-backed dietary supplements are based on flowers such as prostrate knotweed or black elderberry.
You may also want to consult a dietitian because certain dietary changes may reduce the chances of canker sores developing.