If you’ve ever had a canker sore then you probably know how frustrating they can be.
People who suffer from regular canker sores might spend hours searching for the cause of their troubles—only to find a long list of potential triggers. The list of potential culprits goes on and on, leaving you suffering and with essentially no answer.
But the answer to what can cause canker sores is often on the sink, next to your toothbrush.
What Causes Canker Sores: 101
A canker sore is medically referred to as a mouth ulcer. It’s the most common type of mouth ulcer and anyone can develop them. People with recurrent canker sores are often genetically predisposed to getting canker sores, though avoiding triggering products always helps!
Canker sores usually appear on the inside of your mouth or cheek and are white or yellow in color, surrounded by red soft tissue. These painful sores are not contagious and normally heal on their own within one to three weeks.
In order to speed up the healing process, here are the basic lifestyle changes that you can put into practice:
- Brush and floss regularly to manage your plaque build up.
- Visit the dentist for regular oral hygiene check ups.
- Avoid spicy and acidic foods that will irritate your canker sore.
For pain relief there are some over the counter options available. Rinses and topical solutions that contain benzocaine will numb your canker sore. Rinsing with salt water and baking soda also helps the canker sore heal on its own.
Canker sores are painful and annoying. Some of the possible causes include:
- A minor injury such as an accidental cheek bite
- A diet deficient in vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid, or iron
- An allergic response to bacteria
- Hormonal/emotional stress
One of the most common and unknown causes of canker sores is a common ingredient found in most popular toothpastes.
When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Toothpaste Ingredients?
Although the precise cause of canker sores is unclear, research shows that an ingredient in toothpaste called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) triggers canker sores. Surprisingly, SLS is a common toothpaste ingredient that’s also found in shampoo, soap, and household cleaning products.
Determining whether or not SLS is in your toothpaste can be difficult. Technically speaking, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the sodium salt of lauryl sulfate and is also called Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). And ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) is another similar compound with the same uses as SLS and SLES. These chemicals are used as detergents, surfactants, and emulsifiers in thousands of products. In toothpaste, they’re what causes it to foam up as you brush your teeth.
According to research studies, SLS has a number of not-so-great side effects, varying from mild skin irritation to cancer. Despite its proven toxicity, this ingredient is still showing up in our everyday products. With this research in mind, it’s surprising to me that this chemical is continuing to be used in personal care products.
SLS is Just a Marketing Trick
SLS is the most widely used surfactant in toothpastes but it’s not doing any good for your mouth. When it comes to efficiency, it doesn’t matter whether or not your toothpaste foams. The chemical foaming reaction made by SLS is a marketing trick that leads you to believe that the toothpaste is “working.”
According to the American College of Toxicology, SLS can stay in the body for five days—building up in the heart, liver, lungs, and brain. As the chemical lingers in the body, hormonal imbalances have been reported to occur. In some cases, lower rates of male fertility are linked to SLS exposure.
SLS is not only considered harmful for humans, but the environment as well. The manufacturing of SLS releases carcinogens into the environment and it could be toxic for marine life. The environment needs our attention: it’s crucial to be educated on SLS and its potentially negative effects.
What Else is Sneaking Into Our Toothpaste?
SLS isn’t the only ingredient in toothpaste that’s known to be harmful. Another controversial ingredient found in many common toothpastes, is Triclosan – an antibacterial chemical that disrupts endocrine production in the body.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals aren’t to be taken lightly; they’ve been shown to cause many serious health problems. Some of these issues include: breast cancer, testicular cancer, premature birth, and low birth weight babies.
Even though toothpaste manufacturers haven’t stopped using this ingredient in their products, researchers have noted that triclosan isn’t worth the potential risks.
Another harmful ingredient that is sneaking into our toothpastes are microbeads. Microbeads are small plastic pellets used in toothpaste and other personal care products.
Microbeads commonly used in toothpaste have the sneaky tendency to get trapped under your gums—this allows food and bacteria to infest there as well and could cause gum disease.
These tiny balls also make their way into wastewater treatment plants and end up polluting the environment. Since the treatment plants are not meant to filter out small plastic particles, they end up contributing to the “plastic soup” swirling around in the oceans.
Ditch Toothpastes with SLS to heal Your Canker Sores
Unfortunately, the most popularly promoted toothpastes in this country seem to be polluting our health and our environment. SLS is a dangerous chemical used in these products and could be the cause of your canker sores and other health problems. There are many alternative and all-natural toothpastes, free SLS and other dangerous chemicals.
Staying educated when it comes to choosing your personal care products could eliminate certain health risks. If you’re prone to canker sores, this information alone could be the answer to your problems. The research done on SLS shows that not only is it linked to canker sores, but many other devastating risks.
Most people know to check the ingredients of their food, but they aren’t aware to check the ingredients of their toothpaste. This article could teach them about potential dangers of SLS. Share this article today with someone who would benefit from knowing more about their toothpaste!
If you suffer from canker sores, it’s important to get to the cause. Here’s some home remedies for canker sores which can be effective, include:
- Applying manuka honey to the area
- Apply ice to help with swelling and pain
- Use small amounts of milk of magnesia on the sore which can help with pain and promote healing
Do you experience canker sores? Leave your experiences in the comment section below. Always remember your diet is the main cause of immune system problems. Be sure to read my book The Dental Diet with its 40-day food program to heal your body from the mouth down!
Want to know more? Dr Steven Lin’s book, The Dental Diet, is available to order today. An exploration of ancestral medicine, the human microbiome and epigenetics it’s a complete guide to the mouth-body connection. Take the journey and the 40-day delicious food program for life-changing oral and whole health.
Click below to order your copy now: