Vitamins and Herbs for Mouth Canker Sores

Canker sores also known as aphthous ulcers are shallow sores that are painful and typically found in the mouth on the inside of the cheek or lips.

Canker sore

Canker sore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are not the same thing as cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus, canker sores on the other hand are caused by an inflammation.  Sometimes they can get them on the base of your gums and under your tongue as well.  They tend to have a white coating over them and are usually red.

The most common trigger of canker sores is Trauma to the mouth.  Physical trauma, like that caused by toothbrush abrasions, laceration with sharp foods or objects, accidental biting, or dental braces can cause canker sores by breaking the mucous membrane. Other things, such as irritation by chemicals or too much heat, can also create ulcers. Another unsuspecting source is toothpaste that contains SLS, is known to cause aphthous ulcers in some people. Using a toothpaste that doesn’t contain SLS will reduce the frequency of cancer sores in persons who experience aphthous ulcers caused by SLS.   Canker sores may also be caused by a delayed-type food allergy or sensitivity however these are more difficult to indentify as the effects of these types of allergies or sensitivities aren’t immediate.  Once they make their appearance, they tend to stay for 7 to 10 days before they begin to heal, however complete healing can take as long as a month.

Some experts suspect the immune system may play a role in the cause of canker sores appearing, and there may be a genetic component as canker sores tend to run in families.

Although canker sores tend to go away without any treatment, the intense discomfort they can cause motivates those afflicted by canker sores to seek treatment and relief.

There are a number of treatments for canker sores.  One common treatment of canker sores is using vitamins and herbs for mouth canker sores.

Some people believe that taking zinc supplements, vitamin C or vitamin B complex (typically vitamin B3, using a sage-and-chamomile mouthwash or taking folic acid helps their canker sores heal faster.

Zinc supplements have been reported to have positive results with people with zinc deficiencies although the research on the therapeutic effects is still out.  Other studies have linked deficiencies in iron, folate and vitamin B12 to recurring instances of canker sores however the research is still inconclusive.

Other people who continue to be bothered by canker sores continuing to make their appearance use vitamin-E supplements and vitamin-E  rich foods and they have reported to feel some relief from the pain.

Medical professionals such as Julian Witaker MD recommends eating at least 4 tablespoons of yogurt every day to reduce or even prevent outbreaks of canker sores.  To heal canker sores that are already there, he recommends eating at least eight ounces of yogurt that contains active Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures (this will be listed on the label) ever day.

Some herbal treatment that people use for canker sores include  Licorice  (in its DGL form) which is used to relieve the pain caused by cancer sores.  Another treatment is  Goldenseal root made in a tea form.  It is also thought to sooth the pain a canker sore can cause, especially when it is new.  There are warnings to check with you doctor when taking goldenseal internally in capsule format because it may cause high blood pressure.

Canker sores are caused by a number of different things from trauma, to chemicals, or even certain types of food.  Treatments vary that include vitamins and herbal remedies.  Some medical professionals believe that canker sores are caused by vitamin deficiencies that may run in families, so taking supplements to boost up the immune system is something that some people who suffer from canker sores feel a relief from.  It is important to understand your natural vitamin deficiencies that may be determined by your genes in case you may require extra support of a certain vitamin to be able to really benefit from taking vitamin and herb supplements.

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