What’s the real question?

As I look around the internet for blogs, articles, and whatnot about this subject, I keep running into treatments.  A plethora of seemingly crazy things to do to minimize the pain of these ulcers and keep them from forming.

And God knows there’s no shortage of products out there to choose from, especially in the pain relief department.

And then there’s the foods.  Chocolate, coffee, peanuts, cereals, almonds, strawberries, cheese, tomatoes (even the skin of the tomatoes) and wheat flour are just a short list of culprits that should be eliminated from your diet.  And people seem perfectly willing to do so to avoid the pain.

But really aren’t these the wrong questions if we really want to get to an answer?  The question shouldn’t be ‘what can I avoid eating to make them stop’, it should be, ‘why would these foods cause my mouth to react this way?’  It’s not a normal reaction, and I don’t know that we’re doing ourselves any favors to act like it is.

As a dentist once vividly explained to me, “It’s not natural for your gums to bleed when you floss.  Wouldn’t you think it was weird if your finger bled when you ran floss across it?  Your gums aren’t any different.  If your gums are bleeding, it’s because there’s some underlying problem.”

I think that’s the approach we should be taking with this.  It’s not normal to get an open sore by eating a tomato.  Instead of removing it from our diet, we should be finding out why the juice in a tomato would do that to certain people.

So while I’ll be experimenting with plenty of treatment options, pain relievers, supplements, etc., I’m going to try to always keep in mind the underlying problem and the goal of eliminating that.

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