The Cause of Canker Sores | Pat Crawford DDS | Kenosha WI Dentist

The Cause of Canker Sores

What Causes Canker Sores?

Medically known as aphthous ulcers, canker sores are one of the most common and painful sores in the human mouth. They usually make activities like talking and eating extremely painful by appearing on the inside of mouth, lips, cheeks, and tongue. They may also develop on the gum line or on the top of the mouth. Usually, canker sores disappear within a week or two without leaving any scars. However, some sores may take a much longer duration to heal and can potentially leave scars.

Before the appearance of an actual sore, your mouth may sting or burn. After getting burst, it often leaves an open and shallow wound which is white or yellow in color. It is also possible that someone having canker sores may feel lethargic and uncomfortable and develop a fever. Unlike a group of other mouth sores, canker sores are not contagious.

Medical researchers have not been able to identify actual causes of canker sores. They believe that such outbreaks are usually caused by a combination of different factors. Here is a look at some reasons that may possibly trigger the development of canker sores.

 

Physiological Changes

It is strongly believed that development of canker sores depends on how the physiological system of an individual responds to certain changes. The way a person’s immune system responds to certain chemicals often leads to the formation of canker sores. These sores are often caused by our own antibodies that damage the soft and tender tissues inside our mouth.

 

Ineffectual Mouthwashes And Toothpastes

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is used as a special foaming agent in some mouthwashes and toothpastes. This special ingredient tends to dry oral tissues which make them highly sensitive to irritants. For this reason, SLS is often believed to increase the frequency of canker sore formation. According to some medical studies, SLS-free toothpastes not only reduce the rate of their recurrence, but also decrease their severity.

 

Mouth Injuries

Canker sores can also be caused by mouth injuries. These injuries may be due to unintentional cheek bite, hasty brushing, dental implants or braces, and sports accidents.

 

Sensitivity To Certain Foods

People sensitive to certain foods such as eggs, coffee, nuts, chocolate, strawberries, cheese, or pineapple often develop painful canker sores. Furthermore, these sores may also be caused by a diet having insufficient amounts of zinc, iron, calcium, folic acid or vitamins.

 

Other Causes

The formation of canker sores may also be your body’s reaction to some bacteria present in your mouth. Some oral health experts believe that these sores may be related to family genes, but they are not able to prove this belief. Presence of bacteria in canker sores makes them a possible reaction to the streptococcus bacteria. Often menstrual periods or stress can also cause canker sores.

Oral health experts have not been able to identify the actual reasons of canker sores as yet. They believe that women are more prone to develop these sores as compared to men because of their hormones. Some drugs and medical treatments can also increase the recurrence rate of canker sores in your mouth.

 

Author Bio:

Kevin Kerfoot writes about health, nutrition, oral hygiene and skin care for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletter.