“Canker sores,” also known as aphthous ulcerations, are very sore irritations on the gums and
soft tissue of the inner mouth. The ulcers range in size but are not contagious. While their origin is uncertain, they may be caused by certain foods/drinks, stress, and minor traumatic injuries. Additionally, these mouth sores are commonly found in patients with celiac disease. The ulcers often last from one week to ten days, but can be very uncomfortable and painful for that duration. If present, it is recommended to avoid acidic sources in the diet such as orange juice, lemonade, and tomato paste/sauce. Rather, cold milk products such as yogurts and cheeses are recommended.
But what about prevention? Choosing a toothpaste that does not contain the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) may make a difference. SLS is an emulsifying agent commonly found in toothpastes and shampoos. Many people have found the frequency of occurrence of these aphthous ulcers reduced after using non-SLS toothpaste. When choosing a non-SLS toothpaste, it is also important to ensure that the toothpaste still contains fluoride to retain the benefits of enamel remineralization and prevention of demineralization. There may be other brands on the market that are non-SLS and still contain fluoride, but two examples are:
Hello Naturally Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste and Pronamel by Sensodyne