People who chew sugar-free gum after lunch consume 60 fewer calories during their afternoon snack, one study showed.read more
BY: Ella Brooks
Although aphthous sores are harmless, the pesky ulcers are a source of pain for up to 25 percent of Australians and New Zealanders. Usually found on the tongue, the inside of your lips and cheeks or at the base of your gums, aphthous sores can be triggered by irritation (e.g., accidentally biting your cheek or tongue). But their origin is not always so clear-cut. Here are tips to help you prevent them in the future, and what you can do now to soothe them.
1. Avoid eating the wrong type of fruit.
A healthy diet filled with immune system–boosting fruits and vegetables is certainly your first line of defence against aphthous sores. But certain foods -- even some good-for-you fruits -- can exacerbate aphthous sores. The list includes acidic fruits, such as pineapple, grapefruit and oranges. As for the rest of your diet, stick to milder foods and avoid spicy dishes and salty snacks, such as chips and pretzels. Also limit your intake of meat, sugar and coffee.
2. Rethink your vitamin intake.
One theory is that aphthous sores are due to a deficiency in some vitamin or nutrient, such as folic acid or vitamin B12, says the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. One study found that people with recurrent aphthous sores had fewer of them after six months of supplementing with 1000 milligrams of vitamin B12. Another study from Okayama University Dental School in Japan found a link between frequent aphthous sores and low intake of iron, vitamin B, calcium and vitamin C.
3. Stress less.
A recent study from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil discovered a link between stress and recurrent aphthous sores. When your body is run down, you’re more susceptible to them, so take care of yourself by exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep to help guard against aphthous sores.
4. Give baking soda a chance.
Sure, baking soda can work wonders on your drains and countertops, but did you know it can also offer your mouth relief? Mix it with water until it becomes a paste, and then dab it on sore spots several times a day. Rinse off the paste after a few minutes.
Many plant-based natural remedies, from aloe gel to goldenseal, can help soothe aphthous sores. The one with the most research to back it up is licorice root extract. In a recent study published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, over-the-counter medicated oral patches that contained the ingredient were as effective as a prescription medication for reducing pain and speeding the healing of aphthous sores.
6. Make an appointment.
Aphthous sores can take two weeks to clear up. If yours last longer, it’s time to seek help from an expert. Your dentist may prescribe a topical medication that includes a numbing agent, such as lidocaine, or a stronger medication, such as an antibiotic rinse or even a corticosteroid ointment. He may also recommend testing by your doctor to determine if there is an underlying condition that’s causing the sores, such as Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease or some other type of autoimmune disease.
Like this article? Comment below or connect with us @OralCareHealth (Australia & New Zealand)
Ella Brooks is a health writer and editor. Her articles have appeared in many print and online publications, including Prevention, Woman’s Day and Oral Care and Health Daily (Australia & New Zealand).
Catriona Rowntree of Network Nine shares the secrets to her glowing good health.Read More Blog Archive
Osteoporosis can lead to:
Snacking right can do wonders for your waistline, but did you know that some healthy snacks are better for your teeth than others? Here, the best choices for your healthiest you -- teeth, smile and beyond.Read More