Prevent canker sores

Canker sores can be very painful, making talking, eating, and drinking difficult. The following measures may help reduce your chance of getting canker sores:

  • Avoid injury to the inside of your mouth.
    • Chew food slowly and carefully.
    • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush your teeth thoroughly but gently.
  • Avoid foods that can trigger canker sores. This may include:
    • Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, or nuts.
    • Abrasive foods, such as bread crusts, corn chips, or potato chips.
  • Don't use tobacco in any form.
  • Limit your use of alcohol.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year.

If you have frequent canker sores, talk with your health professional about having blood and allergy tests. Some sores are caused by nutritional deficiencies, an allergy, or other preventable causes. Vitamins or nutritional supplements may prevent canker sores from returning or reduce the severity of the sores that develop.

Last Updated: September 26, 2008

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