Dr. William Lanza is a specialized dentist who has gained a wide reputation for state-of-the-art procedures and quality solutions. To help patients and readers overcome their canker sores, he explains common causes and what they can do to expedite the healing process.
At the Dental Institute of Bethesda, Dr. William Lanza has consistently upgraded the tools and resources in his office to stay at the cutting edge of technology. Keeping up with advances in technology, he says, can enhance the comfort of patients, cut down on the time it takes to complete procedures, and improve the overall quality of care delivered. In addition, Dr. Lanza regularly attends conferences and trainings to better his own craft and expand his capabilities.
Many of his patients have struggled with canker sores at some point in their life, and he’s happy to share his insight with them to help them overcome the often painful and bothersome sores.
“What most people don’t know is that there’s an ingredient in toothpastes that may increase their susceptibility to canker sores,” says Dr. William Lanza. “People may go their entire lives not understanding what causes canker sores and just put up with them. I always tell patients to start by taking toothpastes with sodium lauryl sulfate in the ingredient list out of the equation.”
Sodium lauryl sulfate is an anionic detergent and surfactant that is found in many over-the-counter care products. It’s an inexpensive and effective foaming agent that gives the bubbly feeling in toothpaste. Unfortunately, toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate make the skin inside the mouth more likely to get sores if there’s a scratch or injury of any kind. But it’s not the only cause of canker sores.
“If toothpastes with sodium lauryl sulfate have been eliminated, I usually provide my patients with a list of potential causes for them to experiment with,” says Dr. William Lanza. “It usually includes factors like food sensitivities or allergies, eating too many acidic foods, lacking certain vitamins such as zinc and iron, undergoing high amounts of stress, hormonal shifts, or excessive bacteria in the mouth.”
Dr. William Lanza tells us that there are plenty of over-the-counter medications that can numb the pain of canker sores and help them heal faster. Other than that, he asks his patients to make a few changes in their daily routines to avoid canker sores. If his patients smoke regularly, he asks them to back off on the amount they smoke or cut the habit out altogether if they can. He advises they trim out as many acidic foods as they can from their diet and incorporate more veggies and fruit. Dr. Lanza also suggests they try brushing more mildly or switch to a softer toothbrush head.
“Other than that, they should try to find ways to manage stress better, which may be the most difficult thing to do,” says Dr. William Lanza. “There’s no one exact cause that can be easily pinpointed down, so patients must experiment to uncover the underlying factor.”