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Do you suffer from recurrent mouth ulcers?

If you do, you may be deficient in IRON, FOLIC ACID AND VITAMIN B12

You may be one of the unlucky 1-2% of the population who gets recurrent, ordinary mouth ulcers. The medical term for these is ‘aphthous ulcers’. Usually the problem starts in childhood or adolescence, and seems to get better in the 40s. Typically, the ulcers come in crops of one to five at a time. The mouth is remarkably good at healing, so the ulcers last for only 1-2 weeks. Then, a few weeks later, it happens again.

Recurrent mouth ulcers are often due to anaemia or shortage of iron, folate or vitamin B12. A few women find that mouth ulcers are more likely before their periods, so hormones might perhaps have an influence.

A survey found that mouth ulcers stopped more than 50 per cent of people from kissing. Many of those because it was too painful, but also because many thought they were contagious - which of course is not true.

The same survey confirmed that mouth ulcers made it difficult to eat, drink, and even talk. A large number of people with mouth ulcers don't want to socialise either.

If you want to be kissed, practice good dental hygiene taking care not to damage your teeth and gums. Visit the dentist every six months for a check up.

Eat a healthy diet that's rich in vitamin C from fresh fruit; B vitamins from wholegrain bread and milk and potatoes; iron from lean red meat and leafy green vegetables; and zinc from sea-foods, wholegrain bread and cereals. This enables your immune system to stay strong and resist unwanted approaches by infections. Avoiding food and drinks that are too hot is essential and of course relax and reduce your stress.

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