Mouth Sores: How to Differentiate and Alleviate

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

As you are getting dressed for a night out, you notice a tingling sensation near your lips. One glance in the mirror reveals an unsightly sore forming. Is it a cold sore or a canker sore?

Canker sores also occur in the mouth, but unlike cold sores, they are not contagious. But canker sores can also be triggered by stress, genetics, trauma, medications, menstruation, food allergies, or even unrelated medical problems. To treat canker sores, one can acquire over-the-counter oral anesthetics. With a visit to a dentist, a treatment plan can be instigated for more serious outbreaks.

Cold sores are usually found to be small, clear fluid-filled blisters that form near the mouth, which are caused by herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). These blisters usually do not show up on the lips, instead, they are found inside the mouth, on the face, or even inside the nose. In most cases, these sores do not last for more than two weeks; however one should be cautious. Sores are very contagious and are prone to come back due to stress, sunlight, fever, or illness. With the onset of a cold sore, one can apply ice cubes to the sores to help relieve pain. Cold sores can be treated with topical medication, which can prevent the sore from becoming more severe. Antiviral medication can also be used for serious cases.

Academy of General Dentistry ran clinical studies that revealed that students that are surrounded by a high stress environment are more likely to have canker sores or cold sores. It was found that after graduation, when stress levels have come down, sores become less prevalent as well. But sometimes it may be difficult to escape stressful situations. In this case, a natural soothing gel can do the trick. For more than 2,000 years, the aloe vera plant has become a great alternative treatment for a whole host of oral health problems, including sores, lichen planus and gingivitis. The Academy of Dentistry’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal found that the gel from the aloe has the able to cure canker sores and cold sores, both inside and outside of the mouth.

Mouth sores can be a hassle, but there are various treatments to alleviate their symptoms. Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

References:

http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/skin_stuff/cold_sores.html
http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/mouth/canker.html
http://www.agd.org/public/OralHealthFacts/files/FS_MouthSores.pdf

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