Canker Sore

What is a canker sore?

Canker sores are painful mouth ulcers that appear suddenly in groups of two or three, or singly. They can easily be confused with cold sore. Canker sores are white ulcers with a red rim that form just inside the lips and cheeks. They burn and tingle, especially when eating spicy or acidic foods. Normally, healing takes about one or two weeks without treatment, but longer if they become exceptionally large, their size ranges from tiny to one inch or more.

What causes canker sores?

Recurrences are common with abnormally high stress levels, or as a reaction to certain foods. Canker sores are also known as Aphthous ulcers.

Some people are predisposed to recurring canker sores. The process causing the sores is unknown, although it is probably linked to an abnormal immune system response that has been triggered by a deficiency, injury or another problem.

Canker sores appear or recur as a symptom of lacking nutrients. They often occur with anaemia, when the nutrients B12, folic acid or iron are lacking. A small injury is often a trigger for canker sores, as is an altered oral flora after antibiotic treatment.
Stress and food sensitivities often trigger precipitate ulcers
. Foods that cause a problem are highly acidic fruits, and sweets, especially chocolate.

Foods and supplements to prevent and heal canker sores

Eat green, leafy vegetables and whole grains for their B complex vitamins, which help the body deal with stress, a common trigger in the development of canker sores.

Nutritional yeast can supply B vitamins. It is available in the form of flakes, which can be added to cereal or salads, or stirred into stews or soups. Nutritional yeast also comes in the form of a paste which can be spread on bread.
Natural, plain, unsweetened yogurt eaten several times daily has been known to shorten the healing time of canker sores by providing healthy bacteria which fight infections.

Avoid sugary sweets, coffee, citrus fruits, meats and anything that produces acids!

Higher Nature High Stability Colloidal SilverMany people have reported excellent relief with a mouth rinse of aqueous colloidal silver; it has a natural antimicrobial effect and boosts immunity. It is best used after brushing the teeth to help prevent any type of oral infection such as parasites and candida.

Acidophilus capsules help prevent and clear up canker sores. A capsule emptied onto the sores at regular intervals is soothing.

Lifeplan Vitamin C and Zinc Lozenges (30 Lozenges)Canker sores are often related to a B vitamin deficiency and become more pronounced during times of stress. Where anaemia is the cause, either vitamin B12, folic acid or iron will need to be replaced.
Zinc lozenges
also help resolve canker sores, as this mineral supports the immune system. Calcium supplements will help counter act the over acidity.

Herbal remedies are great at treating and preventing canker sores. Echinacea toothpaste is excellent at preventing canker sores and mouth ulcers.

Ortis Vitality Ginseng 250mlIf the immune system is weak, try Astragalus for a few weeks to boost immune function and prevent canker sores. If one is feeling tired use Ginseng to stimulate immune functions.

Be careful not to irritate the gums with hard toothbrush bristles or sharp edged foods such as potato chips or dry bread crusts. Keep bowels regular to prevent toxic build up. Walk regularly, walking in fresh air will oxygenate the body and stimulate bowel movements.


David Foley
Medical Herbalist