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Those Painful Mouth Sores!

There’s no doubt about it – canker sores and cold sores are downright painful – especially if you have more than one at the same time! Eat ketchup or tomato sauce – OUCH! But generally, they are not in any way life-threatening. However, if you have a mouth sore that lasts longer than 10 days to two weeks, a dentist should examine you to be sure it isn’t something more serious.

Canker Sores May Have Multiple Causes

Woman covering his mouth

Cold sores and canker sores are painful, but rarely serious.

No one is really sure why we get canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, but several “theories” exist. Some believe it has to do with a depressed immune system; others believe they are caused by bacteria, viruses, fatigue, stress, allergies, food reactions, or even other diseases, such as Colitis or Crohn’s disease.

Hot, spicy or highly acidic foods may aggravate them and cause additional discomfort, so it is best to stay away from them with active sores! Topical anesthetics or gargling with salt water or a medicinal mouthwash may help. In rare cases, an antibiotic or stronger medication may be required.

Those Unsightly Cold Sores!

While canker sores may hurt – at least no one else can see them! Cold sores, also called fever blisters or Herpes Simplex, on the other hand, appear outside the mouth, and often in clusters. They are usually small, viral fluid-filled blisters that are extremely contagious! So remember…no kissing and don’t touch them during an outbreak!

Cold sores are caused by a virus; the first outbreak usually appears before age 10. The virus can then lie dormant in your nerve cells for years and flare up at various times, particularly when you are under stress or you’re dealing with a weakened immune system. They are
usually treated with topical creams or anti-viral medications and last from one to two weeks.

What If Symptoms Persist?

If cold sore or canker sore symptoms persist longer than two weeks – call a participating dentist near you to schedule an examination. It’s always better to be on the safe side when it comes to any condition of the mouth that appears to get worse over time.

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