Canker sores appear on the tongue, lips, gums and the inside of the cheeks. Canker sores are small ulcers that are red in color and have a yellowish border. They can occur quickly and in a variety of sizes and it is still under debate whether they are contagious or not. A canker sore usually lasts between 4 to 20 days.
Woman tend to be more prone to getting canker sores than men, however the cause can be from a number of factors, such as food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, viral infections, trauma (such as biting the inside of the cheek), stress, or poor dental hygiene.
Some treatments are:
Acidophilus - maintains healthy intestinal flora.
Vitamin B complex - aids in a healing and immune function.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids - fights infection and boosts the immune system.
Zinc lozenges - enhances immune function.
Garlic - natural antibiotic.
To create a rinse, use 3 or 4 drops of tea tree oil to 4 ounces of water. Rinse before brushing.
Red raspberry tea is also helpful in healing, as it contains flavonoids.
It is also important to maintain a healthy diet. Consider a diet with plenty of salad, raw onions, yogurts, cottage cheese and buttermilk. Avoid sugar, citrus and meat or fish while you are healing as these foods can increase the bodys acidity and slow the healing process.
If you have a sore that does not heal you should consult with your doctor or dentist.
For more "Health & Wellness" click here to view back issues.
© Melt Magazine 2003