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Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcers

 

Though they are not serious, mouth ulcers can be troublesome and cause intense pain. Affecting women more than men, these shallow, ulcerated areas appear singly or in small clusters inside the mouth, and range in size from as tiny as a pinhead to as large as a 5p coin. Ulcers emerge rather suddenly and usually go away within one to three weeks. Fortunately it is possible to ease the discomfort they cause.

 

The mouth is often the first organ to show signs of a nutrient deficiency owing to the rapid turnover of the cells in its lining. As a result stress may bring on mouth ulcers because it causes the body’s immune system to overreact to bacteria normally present in the mouth. Mouth ulcers can also be precipitated by a number of actions, such as irritating the mouth cavity with a rough filling or a jagged or chipped tooth or wearing ill fitting dentures. Occasionally, even eating acidic, spicy or salty foods – tomatoes, citrus fruits, hot peppers, cinnamon, nuts or potato crisps – can be the initiating factor.

Some practitioners believe that mouth ulcers are an allergic reaction to food preservatives – benzoic acid, E210; methylparaben, E218; or Sorbic acid, E200, to name a few – or to something in food. Gluten, the protein found in wheat and some other grains, has been singled out as the most likely offender.

 

How supplements can help

 

If you are troubled by mouth ulcers an ‘A-Z’ multivitamin and mineral formulation should always be taken. The immunity-boosting Vitamin C can help to heal the mouth’s mucous membranes; flavonoids are natural compounds that enhance the effectiveness of this vitamin. People prone to mouth ulcers may be deficient in B Vitamins; try a daily Vitamin B complex if the daily A-Z formulation and additional Vitamin C seems to be ineffective. Echinacea strengthens the immune system, and maintenance doses of this herb may stop ulcers forming. Chewable liquorice (DGL) tablets coat and protect sores from irritants and help them to heal, and goldenseal in liquid form applied to the sore directly promotes healing.

 

Did you know?

 

It might be supposed that onions, with their strong flavour, would irritate the mouth and cause mouth ulcers, but – on the contrary – eating them regularly might prevent mouth ulcers. Onions contain sulphur compounds with antiseptic properties, and they are a leading source of the flavonoid Quercitin, which stops the body releasing inflammatory substances in response to allergens.

 

Even the ancient Greeks were plagued by mouth ulcers. It was Hippocrates, who in the 4th century BC coined the medical term for them: aphthous stomatitis.

 

REMINDER:

If you have a medical condition, consult your doctor before taking any supplements

 

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