Not to be confused with cold sores, canker sores are tiny, non contagious, extremely painful ulcers that pop up inside your mouth and can make it so hard to eat, drink, brush your teeth, or talk. According to medical professionals, there are no known causes for these tiny buggers but I’m here to tell you a different story. What I know to be true for me is that they can manifest from cuts or irritations in my mouth (hello, anxious cheek biting!!!!) and are also known to creep up on me when I’m lacking sleep, stressed out, or not eating well aka when my immune system is suffering.
Yes, I've been the victim of canker sores (what? Is "victim" too dramatic?). If you have too, keep reading. If you haven't, keep reading and maybe you'll be prepared if you ever get one in the future. Better yet, share this with someone you know who suffers from canker sores.
The best remedy is to not chew the inside of your mouth when you're stressed & anxious (who? Me?), sleep more & BETTER, eat REAL food, and relaxxxxxxx. That would be ideal, right? If you're anything like me, you're human (surprise!) and as much as you try to take care of yourself, you probably find that you sometimes forget to practice that self L-O-V-E.
I hate to break it to you but often times, you end up creating stressful situations for yourself by getting wrapped up in fearful thoughts that snowball into giant messes covered in canker sores (apologies for the gross visual).
This, my friend, is what's happening with me this week. I've tried to convince myself that it’s hormonal (let’s just blame all ailments on our periods, okay?) or because Mercury is in retrograde (another good candidate in the blame game!) and sure, those are legit excuses. A general feeling of blah is to be expected right now but let's get real:
I need to take care of ME.
Here are 5 easy steps to soothing your canker sore and mending yourself back to stress-free wellness:
1: Frankie Says Relax! Whatever you have to do to relax, do it. If you need help: Read a book, meditate, go to bed early, take a bath, work out!
2: Hydrate! Keep that H2O flowing, baby. When you're dehydrated, everything goes to crap! (Check out my post on hydration here!)
3: Avoid irritants! Avoid spicy, sharp, and acidic foods. That means no chips & salsa! Be careful when brushing your teeth. Also, check that your toothpaste doesn't contain the irritant sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). When I changed toothpastes a couple years ago as per my dentist, I got far less canker sores! The canker I have now is the first one in almost 2 years!
4: Soothe! This is the one you've all been waiting for: relief!
Coconut oil seems to be the only thing I’ve tried that actually feels good when it touches the sore. It has anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, soothing properties that make it an all around good topical treatment for your canker sore (or really anything. I put that sh*t on everything!).
Warm salt water swish/gargle. Salt can help heal infection by drawing the fluid out of an infected area which is a less desirable environment for bacteria.
My resourceful & loving mother sent me this link and I’m definitely bookmarking it for the dreaded next time! If anyone tries “cayenne cream”, please let me know how long is took you to stop screaming and also if it was worth it. ;-) http://everydayroots.com/canker-sore-remedies
5: Pump up your immune health! Along with the water and sleep, you really need to love your immune system from the inside out.
Eat nutritious fruits and veggies! Aim to eat produce from all colors of the rainbow especially those high in vitamin C (strawberries, spinach, citrus fruits). Really nourish your body. Leave aside those empty calories, anything with sugar, processed, etc.
L-lysine is often recommended to those suffering from canker sores. It is one of the amino acids (building blocks of protein). L-lysine promotes growth and development by increasing collagen formation, supports the production of enzymes, antibodies, and hormones, and helps in the building of muscle when consumed in conjunction with other amino acids. I found a lysine supplement that also contains immune boosting ingredients such as vitamin C, Echinacea, licorice, propolis, and odorless garlic. I’m taking the recommended 3 tablets per day TIMES 3. It might be overkill but it seems to help!
Tonight I’m taking time to do a facial mask and hair mask, drink a couple extra glasses of water, and journal before getting to bed early! Happy de-stressing everyone! Let me know in the comments below if any of this was helpful or if you have a tip for canker sores! I’d love to hear it!