Cold Sores and Canker Sores

Man holding side of faceThere are many things that affect your mouth. Many times, a person will experience painful bumps around the lip or gum area. These are cold sores or canker sores. Even though a person may think that they are the same, they are quite different and are caused by different things. Treatments vary as well.

What are Canker Sores?

Canker sores appear as white ovals inside of your mouth. Although they may be painful, they are usually harmless and will go away in a few days. They are not contagious.

Canker sores are caused by autoimmune problems. They tend to occur when your body is run down. Also, they may be caused by a food allergy, nutritional deficiency, hormonal changes, or eating something that caused trauma in your mouth.

These sores tend to heal by themselves. However, to speed recovery, try rinsing with salt water. This heightens blood flow to the area and lowers inflammation. To avoid extra pain, try to stay away from spicy or acidic foods as well.

What are Cold Sores?

The root of cold sores is a virus, which is spread through kissing, sharing utensils, or touching something that contains the virus. Even though it may lie dormant, it remains in the body permanently. An outbreak may be triggered by a number of things, including exposure to sunlight or wind, stress, hormonal changes, suppressed immunity, or a viral infection.

Typically, a cold sore will go away within two weeks. However, to minimize the discomfort, there are prescription creams available. Applying ice packs may temporarily reduce pain as well. If you are a woman, you should avoid covering the sore with makeup. This may irritate the wound and dampen the healing process.

For ultimate dental care tips, consult with Dr. Dana Walters. He will be able to explain how to distinguish and treat both types of sores and other oral problems.