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Why Do More Women Get Canker Sores?

April 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 167

What causes canker sores in females versus males? Mouth sores are irritating ulcerations that can crop up on the inside cheeks, inner lips, tongue and gums. The exact cause of aphthous stomatitis, the medical term for canker sores, is still unknown, but several factors are seen to contribute to this condition. More women than men get mouth ulcers, and it's theorized that it may have to do with women's cycle and hormones.

Menstrual Period and Hormonal Fluctuations

A possible contributing factor to the emergence of canker sores is the hormonal changes experienced by women during the menstrual cycle. This might explain why females are more disposed to getting mouth sores, however, there is no clear cut evidence or explanation as to why and how. There has been some research that indicates that women who are pregnant get fewer sores or they stop altogether. Whether there is any scientific basis for this theory, however, remains to be seen.

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Low levels of key vitamins has been seen to cause mouth ulcers. It appears that those with lower than optimum levels of folic acid, vitamin B12, iron and zinc are prone to mouth sores. Although the mechanism is still unclear, the reason why deficiency of these vitamins causes mouth ulcerations may be due to the fact that these vitamins participate in the normal development and reproduction of the cells inside the mouth. Less than optimum amounts of these important vitamins may impede normal regulation and regeneration of mouth tissue cells and cause them to be more susceptible to problems including oral ulcers. Even though vitamin and mineral levels may have a role in the cause of canker sores, a new study that suggests supplementing with a multiple vitamin didn't appear to prevent outbreaks in people who were susceptible.


Stress can also cause aphthous ulcers. A variety of chemical reactions occur when the body is subjected to stress. Constant exposure to stress weakens the immune system and decreases the body's ability for regeneration and repair. A fragile immune system may make an individual more susceptible to getting infections; this occurs when the body is overwhelmed by the number of pathogens. In this weakened state, pathogenic microorganisms can enter the body and later healthy mouth tissue.

Physical Trauma to the Mouth

Canker sores can also be linked to injury to the mouth, small cuts and abrasions. Unexpected things like biting your cheek or tongue while chewing gum or food or eating something sharp like crackers or toast could cause a small cut inside your mouth and you could end up with a mouth ulcer.

Theories abound, but for now canker sores remain an idiopathic disease with many possible causes.

Owner of the blog My Canker Sore Treatment, Valerie Goettsch writes about possible causes and treatments for mouth ulcers.

Source: EzineArticles
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