Saturday, February 2, 2019

What to Do About Ulcers in the Mouth

Mouth ulcers, also known as oral ulcers, aphthous ulcers, or canker sores, are breaks in the tissue lining of your mouth, often along the base of the gums or inside the cheeks or lips, but can form in the floor of the mouth or on the tongue. They can be painful, annoying and sometimes embarrassing, interfering with eating, drinking, brushing and even talking. They are also very common. The pain from a mouth ulcer is caused because the nerves just below the surface of the lining of the mouth become exposed. Luckily most mouth ulcers are easy to treat.
Mouth ulcers are usually temporary, healing on their own within 1 to 2 weeks, and harmless (except for pain and inconvenience). If you get mouth ulcers that last longer than 3 weeks, or they recur regularly, you should seek medical attention as it may be a sign of a more serious problem.


Mouth ulcers are not contagious. The exact cause of oral ulcers is not known, but there are several factors that are suspected of contributing to their appearance.
  • Trauma or Tissue Damage: Damage to the mouth lining is common. Damage from vigorous brushing, orthodontic braces, ill-fitting dentures or biting the inside of your mouth can cause a mouth ulcer to form.
  • Infections: Bacterial, viral or fungal infections may cause mouth ulcers.
  • Stress Related Mouth Ulcers, Aphthous Ulcers: Most common in teens, stress-related mouth ulcers will heal within a couple of weeks. Prevention is by resolving stress-related problems or using stress-busting relaxation strategies. Hormonal changes and allergic reactions may also cause mouth ulcers.
  • Foods and Drinks: Mouth ulcers may be triggered by acids in certain foods, including oranges, lemons, pineapples, strawberries, tomatoes, and others.
  • Toothpaste or Oral Rinses: Pastes or rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate may contribute to the appearance of mouth ulcers.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies: A deficiency of vitamins such as B-12, iron, folate or zinc could also be a cause of mouth ulcers.
  • Quitting Smoking: Immediately after quitting smoking you may get mouth ulcers. This is usually temporary.

    Disease-Related Mouth Ulcers 

    There are some serious causes of mouth ulcers. Mouth ulcers can be symptoms of herpes infection, sex-related infection, inflammatory bowel disease, leukoplakia, gingivostomatitis, oral canceroral thrush, celiac disease, and immune disorders. If mouth ulcers are a symptom of a disease they are usually accompanied by other symptoms in the body, but not always.
    Most mouth ulcers last between 1 to 2 weeks. If mouth ulcers do not heal it could be a sign of disease that needs medical attention.


    Some treatments will require the removal of the source of the mouth ulcer, such as the treatment of those caused by the disease.
    For most mouth ulcers treatment is easy and effective.

    • Pain relief creams or ointments such as Orajel or Anbesol.
    • Rinsing the mouth with salt water and baking soda.
    • Cooling mouth rinses with cold water or applying ice to the ulcer.
    • Cool chamomile tea. Swish it in your mouth and then swallow.

    Monday, January 7, 2019

    Reset and Recharge: New Year Yoga Sequence

    During the holiday season, we’re out of our routines, we tend to eat and drink more, and we might be dealing with some cyclical grief that comes up during the darker season. Not to mention family stress, visitors, and the ravages of holiday traveling. All these things can throw us off our center. This gentle yoga practice supports calm, digestive health, and immune function to help you get back into the swing of things. This sequence can be done pretty much anytime, including first thing in the morning or right before bed.
    1. Cat/Cow
    Come to all fours. As you inhale, tip your tailbone and chin to the sky in a little backbend. As you exhale, round your back and press your belly button to your spine. Continue like that for around ten breaths or longer, and feel free to add anything else that feels good, like moving side to side, forward and back, or in circles. This moves the joint fluid around the spine and helps us check in with the shoulders, hips, neck, back, and belly. 
    2. Low Lunge with Side Bend
    From hands and knees, step your right foot forward into a lunge. Lengthen your stance enough that your back knee is behind your hip, not right under it, and your front knee is right over your ankle. Tuck your back toes under. Feel free to pad your back knee with a blanket. 
    Reach your arms up to the sky. Point your tailbone down to the floor while pressing your hips forward at the same time. Look for a stretch at the front of your left thigh. 
    Now bend your left elbow so your hand comes roughly in between your shoulderblades. Hold the elbow with your right hand. Pull your belly in, keep your tailbone down, and begin to side bend to the right. This releases your hip flexor, shoulder, and side, and can open up some space for your digestive organs. Hold for around five breaths, more if you like. 
    Gently come back to all fours and then repeat on the left side.  
    3. Wide Legged Forward Fold with Shoulder Stretch
    Carefully come to standing. If you’re comfortable with downward dog, you can use it as a transition: lift your knees into downward dog, walk forward into a standing forward fold, and then gently roll up. 
    Step your feet wide apart on your mat with your feet parallel. 
    Interlace your fingers behind your back and squeeze the shoulders together, opening the chest. Carefully fold over your legs, letting your fists rise to the sky. 
    Keep a small bend in your knees and press the legs out to the sides. If your shoulders bother you, simply let them come to the ground. Breathe here for five or more breaths. This pose stretches the legs and shoulders and is an inversion, which is healthy for the digestive organs, the brain, and the heart, and is soothing for the nervous system. 
    When you are ready to come out, hug the shoulders onto the back, look forward, and keep your back straight as you gently come up to standing again. 
    4. Restorative Backbend
    Sit down on the floor and find a bolster, a long pillow, or two pillows in a line. Place your prop behind you so you are sitting in front of it. Lay back so that your bum stays on the floor but your head is supported by the prop. Bring your feet together and let your knees open to the sides with support from more props (blankets, pillows, etc.). If that’s uncomfortable, keep your legs straight.