Oral health issues can be not only painful but also confusing. Two common types of mouth sores are canker sores and cold sores. Many people use these words interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the two. In this article, we will learn about the differences between canker sores and cold sores so you can take appropriate action to manage and treat them.
What are Canker Sores?
Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers, are little, shallow ulcers that typically appear inside the mouth. These painful, round sores are usually white, gray, or pale yellow with a red border. They can be found on the tongue, cheeks, lips, or bottom of the gums. Canker sores are not contagious and can result from various factors, including stress, hormonal changes, or a reaction to certain foods or toothpaste.
What are Cold Sores?
Cold sores, fever blisters, or herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) are contagious fluid-filled blisters that usually occur around or on the lips. They often start as small red or purple bumps, later forming clusters of blisters that eventually scab and heal within two weeks. The herpes virus can remain static in the body and reactivate during periods of stress, weakened immune system, or sun exposure.
Canker sores differ from cold sores in various ways, and understanding these differences is crucial. Some of the main distinctions are:
- Location: Canker sores are typically found inside the mouth, while cold sores appear on or around the lips.
- Appearance: Canker sores are small ulcers with a grayish-white base and red border, whereas cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that later scab over.
- Contagiousness: Cold sores are contagious, induced by the herpes virus, whereas canker sores are not.
Treatment and Management
For both canker sores and cold sores, there are over-the-counter treatment options available. However, if symptoms worsen or do not improve, it’s critical to consult with an experienced dentist in Toronto, who can deliver a diagnosis and treatment options. So, if you are experiencing any kind of oral health issue, make sure to seek professional help.
To Wrap Up
Canker sores and cold sores might look similar, but they have distinct differences. If you suspect that you have either type of sore, consult your dentist or healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and appropriate care. This blog post provides simple tips to cure a mouth sore. By understanding the differences between these conditions, you can ensure proper management and lead a more comfortable life.