Before I stopped eating gluten, I had at least 3 or 5 canker sores (aphthous stomatitis) in mouth at any given time. I had no idea what was going on. It was horrible, and I was getting used to living that way. I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know going gluten-free was the solution. That was many years ago, I’ve been gluten-free since then, and now I know why there was a connection between those canker sores and my gluten allergy.
If you’re experiencing frequent canker sores, definitely consider food allergies of all sorts. You should also talk to your dentist about it at your next visit. Beyond blood tests to screen for celiac disease/sprue, I’ve found allergy tests for non-life threatening food allergies of limited use. I did have positive tests for gluten allergy, but I didn’t test positive for any other allergies. However, it wasn’t until I eliminated almonds that I finally got my food allergies under control. That’s why I always suggest elimination diets with rigorous journaling during reintegration. Find a healthcare professional to work with if you want to do an elimination diet.
In addition to food allergies, it’s important to explore environmental allergies. Look for exposure to the following common chemicals and then reaction following exposure: benzoic acid, cinnamaldehyde, nickel, parabens, dichromate and sorbic acid.
Stress is also a factor in recurrent canker sores because stress hormones adversely affect the immune system.
Finally, it’s important to look for nutrient deficiencies if you have chronic canker sores. Consider deficiencies in: Vitamins B1, B2, B12, and folate, zinc, and iron.
One of the best ways to help canker sores heal more quickly is to get DGL licorice tablets, break off a small piece, and apply the fragment directly to the sore until it is dissolved. Repeat twice a day. And while the sores are healing, explore the allergies and deficiencies I mentioned above.