Canker sores often recur, but you may be able to reduce their frequency by following these tips:
Mar. 24, 2012
- Watch what you eat. Try to avoid foods that seem to irritate your mouth. These may include nuts, chips, pretzels, certain spices, salty foods and acidic fruits, such as pineapple, grapefruit and oranges. Avoid any foods to which you're sensitive or allergic.
- Choose healthy foods. To help prevent nutritional deficiencies, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Don't chew and talk at the same time. You could cause minor trauma to the delicate lining of your mouth.
- Follow good oral hygiene habits. Regular brushing after meals and flossing once a day can keep your mouth clean and free of foods that might trigger a sore. Use a soft brush to help prevent irritation to delicate mouth tissues, and avoid toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Protect your mouth. If you have braces or other dental appliances, ask your dentist about orthodontic waxes to cover sharp edges.
- Reduce your stress. If your canker sores seem to be related to stress, learn and use stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation and guided imagery.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Feb. 2, 2012.
- Long SS, et al., eds. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/174218004-3/925169573/1679/31.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06687-0..50030-8--cesec16_721. Accessed Feb. 2, 2012.
- Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..X0001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Feb. 2, 2012.
- Canker sores, cold sores & common mouth sores. American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/2982.aspx?currentTab=1. Accessed Feb. 2, 2012.
- Stomatitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental_disorders/symptoms_of_dental_and_oral_disorders/stomatitis.html. Accessed Feb. 2, 2012.
- Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-2/0/1494/0.html. Accessed Feb. 6, 2012.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Oral lesions. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 6, 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Recurrent aphthous ulcers. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2011.
- Morelli V, et al. Alternative therapies for common dermatologic disorders, part 2. Primary Care Clinics in Office Practice. 2010;37:285.
- Bailey J, et al. What is the most effective way to treat recurrent canker sores? The Journal of Family Practice. 2011;60:621.
- Messadi DV, et al. Aphthous ulcers. Dermatologic Therapy. 2010;23:281.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 21, 2012.
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