Canker sores come, and canker sores go. And then they return and you never quite know, how long will this last? is it just the one this time or three? and how long will they give me in-between? And that special kind of trauma, that unique misery yields a special kind of bliss, being canker-sore free. Makes you appreciate life just a little bit more, with much more intent, until the next time that damned thing surely returns, hell-bent, to your life once more.
My old foe returned when I was on vacation last week. It was terrible.
I don't usually get canker sores (knock on wood), but when I do I'm a complete baby about them. My husband gets them all the time. You can gauge his stress level by how many sores he has inside his mouth. I'm not nearly as nice about this as I ought to be.
A couple weeks ago I went to bed with a little bit of a headache, and woke up at 2:30am because it had turned into a raging, splitting, please-just-let-me-die headache. I spent the next hour in pain, wondering if I might be able to vomit and if that would help, before I was finally able to drift back off to sleep. When my alarm went off at 6:30 (for church), rather than feeling dead and tired, I realized my head didn't hurt any more and felt so alive and free and happy. I think I was high from the lack of pain the entire day. So weird...
For reals that was beautiful.
Feels kind of weird commenting on a blog post about canker sores when I so rarely comment on anything of any kind online. But as your words so perfectly expressed the nagging curse that is the canker, I thought I'd better share my story.
I was plagued with very frequent canker sores for most of my life. Being one who brushes and flosses religiously and chews sugar-free gum after any meal when a toothbrush is not nearby, I felt quite wronged by this situation. I put up with sores so painful and regular that they often affected my diction when I spoke, the food I chose to eat, and even what I did with my free time (no pleasure in singing or hanging out with a group talking when you have those dang sores punishing every movement of your tongue and lips).
Then about ten years ago I started doing research and experimentation in earnest, and I discovered what to me was a miraculous way to avoid 99% of all canker sores. It involved a suprising culprit: Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate, the main foaming agent in almost every toothpaste available. Apparently, in many people like me, SLES (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_laureth_sulfate) irritates the tissues inside the mouth and leads directly to canker sores and their ilk. At first I tried using toothpaste that contained no SLES, but that was a pain so ultimately I found an even better solution. EVERY TIME I brush my teeth, I immediately follow with a full minute of strong mouthwash. This seems to nullify any of the sinister effects of SLES for me, but ONLY if it is full-strength stuff (Listerine or its "compare-to" equivalents).
The miracle is that this one step, flooding my mouth with mouthwash after every toothbrushing, has almost completely eliminated my canker sore plague. Note that I floss, THEN brush (so that no SLES is pressed between my gums by the floss), THEN use Equate Cool Mint Mouthwas (compare to Listerine) EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. It is not worth risking some stray piece of food trapped between my teeth cause irritation or corrosion and become a canker sore by the next morning. But now, keeping my mouth canker-sore-free has been a reality for me and it is GLORIOUS. The foe has been vanquished, as it were. I've had maybe a dozen of the suckers in the past ten years total, and they were all a direct result of a traumatic mouth injury (biting my own cheek badly while chewing, or getting skewered through the gums by an impressively strong and sharp tortilla chip, for example). Even these canker sores healed much more quickly than all of my sores used to when SLES was attacking them.
So there you have it. May your brief, poetic blog post and this lengthy but heartfelt comment lead to blissful relief for you and others from the cankering foe.
Wow, is that TRUE?? That's amazing! Are you just so happy all of the time? Whistling and high-fiving everyone wherever you go? Thank you for taking the time for that testimonial. I'm going to try it. Hopefully we can obliterate the enemy once and for all.
It truly worked for me, so if it works for you or anyone else reading this--even half as well--I'd love to know.
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