Toothpaste and Canker Sores

About the only good thing about canker sores is, they’re hidden inside the mouth. Beyond that—they’re painful, annoying, and bound to erupt at the worst possible time. And common though they are, the world has mixed opinions on what causes them and what can prevent them from recurring.

Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, are different from fever blisters, though they’re often confused. They occur only inside the mouth and aren’t contagious. Fever blisters, on the other hand, are caused by the herpes virus, are found typically on the lips—and are very contagious!

Canker sores crop up inside your cheek or on your gums and tongue, then disappear within five to ten days. Why? Emotional stresses, food allergies, hormone imbalance, and vitamin B deficiency have all been suggested, but we’re still not completely sure.

Can toothpaste have some effect—good or bad—on canker sores? Again, clinicians have different opinions. Some researchers point a finger at an ingredient added to most common toothpastes to create the foaming action most of us expect. They say this ingredient, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), dries out the protective lining in the mouth, making it vulnerable to irritants that can lead to canker sores.

However, a study conducted in the Department of Oral Medicine and Periodontology of St. Bartholomew’s in London concluded, “SLS-free toothpaste had no significant effect on mouth ulcer patterns.”

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why Adults and Teens Love Invisalign®

If you're considering Invisalign treatment, you probably already know it's really popular. What you want to know is why. Here are five major benefits of Invisalign treatment, as well as a couple of special benefits just for teens.

How to Get and Maintain Your Whitest Smile

Keeping your smile its whitest isn’t difficult, but it takes some self-discipline to maintain an effective oral care routine. Your best smile comes from a combination of dentist visits and personal care at home.

The Anatomy of Dental Implants

When a person is missing a tooth or multiple teeth, this creates many issues that impact the look of a smile and the overall dental health.