It’s an understatement to say that canker sores suck. Canker sores, small shallow ulcers (called “aphthous ulcers”) inside the mouth. These yellow-whiteish ulcers can hurt like hell, making everyday tasks like eating or talking painful. And about 20% of people regularly get canker sores.
Understanding Canker Sores
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, canker sores are not bacterial, or viral. And while canker sores may be exasperated by things like toothpaste, smoking or acidic foods, the root cause of the sores is your immune system. And while according to DentistryIQ,
“Canker sores can happen to anyone, at any age. Although simple canker sores are mostly common in the age group of 10 to 20, complex canker sores can happen at any age.”
For myself and many other people canker sores became significantly more frequent and more annoying with age. This in part just bad luck, but more likely age related declines in hormones or nutrient absorption, and decreases in immune function.
There are a few remedies that are worth trying to help stop canker sores, and I don’t mean numbing agents that just ease symptoms. I mean actually treat the sores. Because the main causes of canker sores are related to immune function… even when the sores are caused by factors like tissue damage, that is the result of the human bodies inability to heal itself. That means supplementing can be a treatment.
B12, Folic Acid, Zinc, L-Lysine And Iron
Vitamins B-12, vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid) zink, L-Lysine, and iron deficiencies can, and often do cause canker sores. Some doctors even suggest rubbing a B vitamin complex directly on the canker sores to help speed up recovery. While supplements are not a substitute for a nutrient rich diet, supplements can speed up the recovery from and even prevent canker sores. An all in one canker sore treatment may be the best solution if you’re going to go the supplement root.
Hormones play a large part in nutrient absorption, and immune function. Or to quote one study,
“Whenever serum estrogen concentrations are normal in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, lower androgen concentrations (i.e., testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate [DHEAS]) are detected in the serum as well as in the synovial fluid of male and female RA patients. The presence in the RA synovial fluid of a significant altered sex hormone balance resulting in lower immunosuppressive androgens and higher immuno-enhancing estrogens“
That means androgen receptors influences the body’s defense system, and treatments like HRT or even eating adaptive androgenic foods may help prevent canker sores, in conjunction with nutrient supplementation or IV nutrition therapy.
Supplements like Pine Pollen or Ashwagandha Root Extract are considered adaptogenic, and can help fill hormone gaps, thus allowing for better nutrient uptake, and a healthier overall immune system. Many other adaptogenic compounds exist including ginseng, Astragalus, holy basil, cordyceps. Supplementing DIM can even help improve the hormone balancing effects of these herbs.