Canker sores are common and can be quite distressing. Biting your tongue or cheek may be enough to set one off. But how can you prevent canker sores or encourage these aphthous ulcers, as doctors term them, to heal more quickly? Many readers find certain foods helpful:
Kiwi Fruit Helps Ease Canker Sores:
Q. My husband suffered from frequent canker sores for years. I read in your column that eating kiwi fruit might help prevent canker sores.
When I passed it along to him, he was extremely skeptical, to say the least. He still decided that it couldn’t hurt to try.
After getting on a regimen of eating one kiwi fruit every other day for breakfast, the canker sores stopped completely! On the rare occasions when he can’t eat kiwis for an extended period because of travel, a sore starts up. Eating kiwis for a few days straight heals it up very quickly. This might not work for everyone, but it certainly helped him.
A. Others report that kiwi fruit is helpful against canker sores. Some people are especially prone to aphthous ulcers, especially if the tissues in the mouth are injured by biting them inadvertently or scratching them with food such as pretzels or potato chips.
Recent research shows that certain microbial communities in the mouth may be linked to recurrent canker sores (BMC Microbiology, April 1, 2016). Perhaps the kiwi fruit changes conditions in the mouth and makes the microbes less prone to cause lesions.
Watch Out for Toothpaste:
There are several other tactics that readers have found helpful. One is to avoid toothpaste with the common detergent SLS:
“I used to have a lot of problems with canker sores until I heard a suggestion on The People’s Pharmacy several years ago to switch to a toothpaste that didn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is added to make toothpaste foam in your mouth. Since the switch, I rarely get canker sores.”
Other Foods That Might Prevent Canker Sores:
“Another quick remedy is cream of tartar dabbed on the sore until it goes away. Usually a day or so, 4 or 5 applications.”
MH said vitamins are worth a try:
“I have been using vitamin B2 for canker sores for years. It works great at healing the sores and at preventing them. This also helps prevent my migraines.”