Waking up with a small sore on the inside or the outside of your mouth can be discouraging and annoying. Not knowing whether the sore is a canker or a cold sore can be even more frustrating. Understanding the differences between cold sores and cankers is key to being able to treat them. Continue reading to learn more about cankers, cold sores, and the differences between the both of them.
What Are Cankers?
Cankers are small sores that show up inside the mouth. Canker sores look like little blisters that are gray or white-rimmed by redness. A canker can appear anywhere within the mucus membrane in your mouth on the insides of your cheeks, lips, and throat. They can also pop up on your tongue or soft palate.
Canker sores are typically pretty painful and there can be more than one that appears within the mouth at a time. The pain of a canker sore typically only lasts for a few days but it may take up to a couple of weeks before the canker is completely gone. The cause of these blisters is unfortunately not always crystal clear. However, common reasons why cankers include stress, minor injuries to the inside of the mouth, and eating overly acidic foods.
If you make sure that you are brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, attending dental appointments, and caring for injuries to your mouth in a timely manner, then cankers are unlikely to appear. However, if a canker develops against the odds, your dentist can prescribe a medicated mouthwash or an antibiotic to help treat it.
What Are Cold Sores?
Cold sores, sometimes referred to as fever blisters, can also appear within the mouth, however, unlike cankers, they most often appear on the outside of your lips as well. A cold sore can also develop on other parts of the body, but most commonly around the mouth, on the cheeks, and on the nose. If you get a cold sore, make sure to drink plenty of water and practice proper oral care.
A cold sore will typically develop as a symptom of the illness herpes simplex. However, there are also several other potential causes of cold sores including stress, catching a cold, or changes in the season and temperature. A cold sore will typically go away on its own after a week or so. However, there are antiviral medications that your doctor can give you that will help speed up the treatment process.
Do You Need Oral Health Services?
If you are in need of oral health services, look no further than us at Hendersonville Family Dental. We provide comprehensive options when it comes to maintaining and improving your oral health. If you notice a sore within your mouth and are still not sure whether you are dealing with a canker or a cold sore, we would be more than happy to help diagnose the sore and give you treatment options. If you are in need of a new dentist or are facing a mouth issue, feel free to reach out to us at Hendersonville Family Dental.