June 30, 2006, Newsletter Issue #22: Canker Sores

Tip of the Week

Ever wonder what really causes those painful, nasty looking sores in your mouth? You’re not alone, as canker sores are one of the most common recurring inflammatory conditions of the mouth and 20% of Americans suffer from them.

Despite a fair amount of research into canker sores, scientists have failed to discover a common cause. Various theories include that they are caused by allergic reactions, bacterial infections, stress, hormonal cycles (such as a female’s menstrual cycle), or deficiencies in various vitamins, though there is little agreement as to whether any of these causes are legitimate.

The mystery of canker sores doesn’t stop there, as there is also little consensus regarding treatment, though there are some prescription medications on the market for more severe canker sores. It is important to note that, even though the sores occur in your mouth, their treatment is covered by standard health insurance policies, not by dental plans. Therefore, you need to see your doctor about them, not your dentist.

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