Canker Sores & Cold Sores
A canker sore is a painful, oftentimes small sore that can develop anywhere inside the mouth, also known as an aphthous ulcer. These are NOT contagious. They may appear as a single ulcer, or as a group, and have a wide variety of potential causes.
Some causes include:
- Burning of the tissue from extremely hot temperature or acidity
- Sharp teeth, braces, ill-fitting dentures
- Cigarette smoking
- Underlying health condition
- Small shallow round ulcer that is gray, white, or yellow and can be surrounded by redness
- Painful sore that can appear anywhere in the mouth such as the tongue, gums, cheek, or palate
- May have accompanying symptoms of sluggishness or lethargy, fever, diarrhea, joint/body pain, a rash, swollen lymph nodes
- Canker sores typically clear on their own within 1-2 weeks. Pain should lessen as time goes on
- A corticosteroid ointment or mouth rinse may be prescribed.
- Over the counter solutions or warm salt-water rinses
- Avoidance of foods that are acidic, hot, or spicy.
Cold sores are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus-1 and can appear inside or outside the mouth, as well as the lips. These ARE contagious. Typically, the first time you get a sore, there are multiple sores.
- At the first sign of a cold sore, you should contact your doctor so that you can get a prescribed antiviral medication to help reduce the pain, duration, and frequency of the sores.
- Sometimes these sores can be numbed and cured with a dental laser as well.