My first line of attack for canker sores is a change of toothpaste. I suffered from these pesky little sores for thirty years before discovering that the Sodium Lauryl Sulphate found in most toothpastes both causes and prolongs the agony.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a foaming agent that makes toothpaste froth and bubble. It is also poisonous. Why so many products are made with it, I can't imagine. Maybe people enjoy a mouth full of foam. I certainly don't enjoy canker sores.
Occasionally, ill-fitting dentures or dental surgery can cause sores, but in the majority of cases it is toothpaste entering a small nick in the gum that creates the problem. Another cause can be stress or worry. If a small canker does start, the use of alternative toothpaste will result in a one-day sore instead of a two-week sore.
Health food stores carry good toothpastes, but it needs careful reading of ingredients because some healthy sounding products still contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.
My SLS-free favorites are Vita-Myr Zinc-Plus Herbal Toothpaste and, Vita-Myr Zinc-Plus Herbal Toothpaste with CoQ10 and Xylitol. These can also be bought online at good prices. It's worth a little extra cost to become canker free. I haven't had sores for years.
Canker sores are painful aren't they? They are those annoying little round sores or blisters that show up at the most importune time. The irritation itself is enough to drive you crazy. Sometimes you even feel like cutting them off just to stop the pain.
Should you see a dentist about a canker?
For the most part you do not have to see a dentist about canker sores. Although they can be annoying they are not lethal. There are also some over the counter products that can relieve that irritating pain. If you find sores all over your mouth or outside of your mouth they may not be canker sores. For example; Thrush can look similar to canker sores, but are symptoms of something else. So for the most part unless you detect some unusual symptoms they will usually go away because they may be caused by stress or other minor ailment.
What should you do about it?
Most canker sores heal by themselves. If they are unbearable or become quite large it might be advisable to see a health care professional. I have found one over the counter product that seems to help alleviate the pain, Vita-Myr Natural Mouthwash. You might also ask your pharmacist which over the counter product he might suggest.
Patrick O. Davis
U.S. Army Retired
Apache Junction Arizona