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Canker Sores (Mouth Ulcers)
by Judith Cobb

Aphthous stomatitis or canker sores, almost everyone has experienced these painful outbreaks in the mouth. Often when there is one sore there are more, sometimes up to fifteen or twenty.
The size of these mouth ulcers can range from almost nothing to over one inch. Canker sores can appear on the tongue, inside of cheeks, lips or gums and usually begin as a little crater surrounded by slightly raised concentric rings of yellow then red. Healing can take from four to twenty days.

According to the Merck Manual, the cause of cankers is unknown, but weakened localized immune function seems to be involved, as do deficiencies of iron, B 12 and folic acid. Other influencing factors may be poor oral hygiene, food allergies, especially to chocolate, stress and fatigue.


Cankers are contagious.
So, what can be done to prevent them and/or to make them heal faster?
As always, diet is very iniportant. Eliminating sugar, dairy (except butter), refined grains (white bread and pasta), alcohol, coffee, tea, and pop can only help to increase the vitality of the body and raise the immune system to a more functional state. Focus on eating fresh vegetables, some fruit, whole grains, limited amounts of animal protein (preferably chicken breast, lamb, or salmon), lentils and legumes with lots of "good" water to drink.

During an outbreak, the diet will need to consist of softer foods like homemade pureed vegetable soups (without tomatoes. please), baked or steamed fruit and tofu drinks just to reduce wear, tear and pain while eating. In the event of an outbreak, each canker needs to be gently dabbed with tea tree oil. Use a fresh Q-tip for each dab.
Tea tree oil is antiseptic which means it will kill bacteria. The entire immune system will then need building. Acidophilus, the friendly bacteria, need to be added to the diet. VS-C is also a must. This combination of herbs stimulates the immune response to fight bacterial infections. It is available in liquid or capsule form. Initially, all three of these items are used in fairly generous amounts, and when the outbreak subsides, the tea tree oil is discontinued, and the acidophilus and VS-C are reduced to small maintenance amounts.

At the very first indication of an impending outbreak, the herbs and oil are increased back up to the original amounts and used until the outbreak is cleared. It is most common for outbreaks to become less frequent, less severe, and of shorter duration.

Within just a few months, it is quite normal for outbreaks to be thwarted at the first sign and be completely controlled/healed within twenty-four hours. Yes! Miracles really do happen!

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