What are the causes of canker sores?
Canker sores are also called Recurrent Aphthous (af-thus) Stomatitis (RAS). They are sores inside the mouth. You may have canker sores on the inside of your lips and cheeks, or on your gums or tongue. It is common to have more than one. They are painful but are not harmful. Usually, canker sores heal in 2 weeks. You may get them more than once. They are usually seen in children and adolescents from the ages of 10 to 19 years. For about one-third of the children affected, lesions continue to reappear for years after the initial outbreak.
Prior to the appearance of canker sores, individuals may feel an itching or burning sensation in the area where the sore eventually emerges. Several days later, the person will feel a small bump in the burning spot, which gradually becomes painful and easily irritated by eating or drinking certain foods. Suffering from chronic dry mouth will also worsen the pain of a canker sore.
There is really no known cause for canker sores. However, there are many contributory factors that can trigger or start canker sores. These includes weakened immune system, stress, viruses and bacteria, trauma to the mouth, poor nutrition, and certain medications. Certain allergies may also cause the lesions to appear, such as coffee, chocolate, nuts, cheese, citrus fruits, and potatoes.
In trying to find the exact cause of RAS, a team of oral pathologists conducted an experiment using subjects who had experienced three or more episodes of recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Results were published in an article called “Reduced dietary intake of vitamin B12 and folate in patients with RAS” for the February 2010 edition of the Journal of Oral Pathological Medicine. According to the researchers, patients with RAS showed a statistically significant lowered dietary intake of folate and B12 than the control group, indicating a viable correlation between folate and B12 deficiency and the appearance of chronic canker sores.
Another study done in England showed that the tendency of getting canker sores may be inherited. In their studies 20% of canker sore patients are due to nutritional deficiencies- lack of vitamin B12, folic acid and iron. They also correlate the appearance of canker sores to gastrointestinal problems. Similar to this, Hormonal imbalances and stress may also the reason why most of the pregnant woman suffers from canker sores.
Although anyone can develop a canker sore, women are more likely to get canker sores than men. Perhaps the reason behind this is women are more emotionally stress than man right? And when they‘re emotionally stress, they tend to eat sweet stuff like chocolate, cake, and ice cream. But that is only my opinion. Nobody has been able to get a handle of finding the real cause of this up to now.