There’s nothing more bothersome than not being able to eat specific kinds of food, especially those that you have been craving for a long time. Just like having painful sores in the mouth which makes eating a lot more difficult, a good example of this situation is having canker sores. Although not that dangerous, it still causes a lot of inconveniences. Can we avoid having these sores or should we just stick to treatments once we get them? There is a kind of supplement that is made from a specific amino acid that is said to be an effective medication for such issues? In this article, let’s get to know the potential uses of the amino acid called lysine for the treatment of canker sores.
What are Canker Sores?
Canker sores may be one of the enemies we’ll hate the most. These mouth sores are considered ulcers, but they are not the malignant type since they are minor types of ulcers. It is also possible to encounter these sores a few times in one year, or if you’re lucky enough you would not be facing the cringing pain of canker sores.
Unlike other forms of sores (like cold sores), the appearance of canker sores occurs inside the mouth; either around the lips, cheeks, base of the gums, or even the tongue. The typical number of sores that develop in the mouth is only one perchance, but there may also be cases where a person can suffer from two or more. Cases like this can disturb that person’s eating habits. To identify canker sores, they are described to have the appearance of a small-sized reddish bump (due to inflammation of tissues) with little amounts of some white or yellowish substance in the center. As time goes by, the sores become opened, and the white or yellowish substance gets drained unnoticeably. When this happens, the sore will be nearing the healing stage but this is where it gets more painful than when it first appeared. You may want to avoid acidic and sour-flavored foods and drinks during this time or you will feel the ultimate pain of canker sores.
Symptoms of Canker Sores
To fully know if you indeed have a canker sore, there are signs and symptoms to identify them. Check the sore by yourself or if it is hard to see you may consult your dentist for a checkup.
Here are what you will be noticed once you encounter canker sores:
- There is a painful and tingling sensation in the mouth. It can easily be felt when the tongue gets in contact with the affected area. If the tongue is the site of the canker sore, it can easily be felt even the tongue does not get in contact with other parts of the mouth.
- The appearance of a painful and red-colored bump.
- The red bump is accompanied by a small white or yellow-colored and oval-shaped ulcer.
Although rare, some people may also experience the following symptoms:
- A minor fever.
- Feeling sickly and unwell.
- Lymph nodes may get swollen.
As previously mentioned, there is nothing to worry about when you have canker sores. They are also not contagious so there will be no chances of it spreading throughout the mouth. Even without any treatment, the sores can heal on their own, but it will take them about one to three weeks.
What Causes Canker Sores?
Canker sores do not usually just appear out of the blue. There are many reasons why they suddenly develop inside the mouth. The sores commonly appear due to some changes in the body, and they are:
- Lack of certain vitamins and nutrients in the body.
- It may be caused by a minor viral infection.
- It may be the body’s way of coping with stress.
- The hormones started to fluctuate and it results in imbalance.
- An allergic reaction from certain foods.
- The immune system got a little compromised because of the menstrual cycle.
- Specific issues with the immune system.
- An injury in the mouth.
Lysine is a kind of amino acid, specifically an essential amino acid. To supply the body with this amino acid, it should be taken from other sources because the body does not manufacture them, hence it being essential.
There are quite several foods that have lysine content, but there is no assurance that they can provide enough amounts of the amino acid. When it comes to foods, most of them only contain a few amounts of essential amino acids. This is not a problem, however, since there are already available supplements in markets and drugstores that are purely made of lysine.
What is lysine exactly? It was discovered as a treatment for cold sores and many other medical issues. It is also said that this amino acid is packed with potential benefits. There are also a few studies if it’s an effective treatment for canker sores.
Lysine for Canker Sores and Other Treatment
There are many ways to treat canker sores giving patients a lot of options depending on their desired way of treatment; either by oral supplements or topical gels and ointments.
Many over-the-counter medications and treatments are available for canker sores. It is also preferable to at least use a topical gel for the sore since it is important to relieve the inflammation. Branded topical gels like Zilactin-B Canker Sore Gel is one of the most used treatments for the sores, it is also because of the availability that makes it easier to acquire. If you want to try natural methods, it is possible to put aloe vera and vitamin E essences to good use.
Ready-made and natural mouthwash solutions can also be used for the treatment. They are used by gargling and their main purpose is to cleanse the canker sores.
However, according to some experts, using lysine supplements are also helpful for the treatment of canker sores. How is it possible? Because of the amino acid characteristics of lysine, it can help in treating the sores that are caused by deficiencies. You may try consulting your doctor or dentist regarding the use of lysine so they may also prescribe the required dosages.