How can something that small cause so much disruption? Sores that develop in your mouth or on your lip can be a major pain, especially if you suffer from them frequently. More than half of the population has experienced a mouth sore. These lesions are typically defined as either fever blisters (cold sores) or canker sores. While both of these oral sores can be equally irritating and frustrating to deal with, they are not one in the same. Cold sores and canker sores have different causes and treatments.
What is a Cold Sore?
Cold sores may be referred to as “fever blisters.” These lesions are also known as oral herpes, since they are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. Although these blisters are quite uncomfortable and very contagious, they are not the same as genital herpes and not transmitted sexually. Many children get cold sores from a virus that was contracted through saliva. Cold sore triggers can include the following:
- Common Cold
- Flu (Influenza)
- Excessive sun exposure
- Hormonal changes, such as menstrual cycles and pregnancy
- Trauma to the face, such as cuts or facial surgery
What is a Canker Sore?
Canker sores are typically round lesions that are yellow or white in color. Like fever blisters, they can erupt anywhere in the mouth including the tongue, lip, inner cheek and gum. Most canker sores go away on their own within 10-14 days, but some patients are especially prone to getting canker sores.
The development of a canker sore can often be traced back to one of three common triggers:
- Acidic and Spicy Foods
- Vitamin Deficiency (B12, folic acid, zinc or iron)
When to See Your Dentist
In most cases, it is a matter of managing your discomfort until your body can naturally heal your canker sore or fever blister. However, if you have had a mouth sore of any kind longer than two weeks, it may be time to see your dentist for an oral cancer screening. Call Muccioli Dental today if you are concerned about frequent mouth sores or an oral lesion that won’t go away on its own.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Randy Muccioli, Muccioli Dental
Muccioli Dental - Johns Creek Dentist
6300 Hospital Pkwy, Suite 275
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
Phone: (678) 389-9955