If you’ve ever experienced a mouth sore, you likely understand how painful, embarrassing, and concerning they can be. Mouth sores can be caused by many different things, some that can be prevented and others that are symptoms of serious medical conditions.
Here is some information about what mouth sores are, what causes them, and how you can prevent and treat them the natural way.
Mouth Sores and Nutritional Deficiencies
One interesting cause of mouth sores that lots of people aren’t aware of is low iron levels in the body and anemia. These types of mouth sores are often accompanied by swelling in the tongue and other parts of the mouth. Additional symptoms of anemia may be present in the body as well, such as fatigue and paleness. Other nutritional deficiencies that can cause mouth sores are deficiencies in vitamin B12 and folate.
Other Causes of Mouth Sores
Aside from anemia, mouth sores can also be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease, such as herpes or syphilis. A mouth ulcer can appear anywhere on the inside of the cheeks or under the lips or tongue. Simply brushing your teeth too vigorously can cause mouth sores to form, and stress may cause them too.
But mouth sores could also be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as lupus or Crohn’s disease. Autoimmune diseases can cause sores in and around the mouth to form, and spicy and acidic foods can make the symptoms worse.
Treating Mouth Sores Naturally
While many types of mouth sores, such as canker sores, require little or no treatment and heal over time on their own, you may wish to speed along their recovery a bit. Baking soda is a tried-and-true remedy for canker sores, and you can rinse your mouth with a solution of a half cup of warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda. Aloe can also sooth mouth sores when you dab a small amount onto a cotton swab and apply directly to the sore. Meanwhile, other people swear by milk of magnesia, hydrogen peroxide, and salt water to help canker sores heal. Foods that may be good to eat when you have mouth sores include yogurt, honey, coconut oil, sage, and warm (but not hot) tea. Sometimes applying a little bit of Olive Leaf Extract powder by opening a capsule and adding a drop of water to it to make a paste, can be very soothing.
If your mouth sores do not subside or go away on their own with a little extra care and home remedies, it may be time to call a doctor to get to the bottom of what’s causing them. The average mouth sore will still take up to a couple weeks to heal with treatment, especially if you accidentally injure it while chewing food or brushing your teeth.
How to Prevent Mouth Sores
To prevent mouth sores from forming, there are a few good practices that you can get into the habit of in daily life. Always eat a balanced diet, use a soft toothbrush, and see a dentist regularly to determine if any tooth problems are causing mouth irritations. Since emotional stress and fatigue are closely associated with the formation of mouth sores, it is a good idea to find ways to de-stress in your life to prevent symptoms like this.
You should also practice chewing slowly and carefully so that you don’t bit the inside of your cheek and cause a mouth sore due to eating too quickly or recklessly. And finally, if you are prone to mouth sores, limit your intake of hot, acidic, and spicy foods, especially when you feel a sore forming in your mouth.