Canker and Cold Sores

Canker sores and cold sores are quite common. Twenty percent of the population suffers with cancer sores while, 20-30% of the population suffers from cold sores.

Many confuse canker sores with cold sores. This can be a huge mistake, as how you treat cold sores is entirely different from how you successfully deal with cancer sores.

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are those unsightly lip blisters that cause people pain and social embarrassment. The herpes virus causes them. They begin as fluid blisters on the side of the lips or mouth that burst and then scab over. Rarely do they occur on the inside of the mouth where they appear on bound (non-moveable) sections of the mouth such as the roof.

People often feel a ‘tingling” around the mouth before the outbreak of cold sores. Unlike canker sores, cold sores are highly contagious. The key to stopping cold sores is to avoid those things that activate the cold sore herpes virus. These include colds and other illnesses; physical and emotional fatigue; dry or chapped lips; UV sunlight and injury to the lips. Keep your lips moist with a lip balm that protects against both UV-A and UV_B sunlight. Using an anti-viral medication when cold sores first start reduces the healing.

Laser treatment at the first sign of a cold sore can usually stop it in its tracks. So call us . . we can help!

Canker sores, also called mouth ulcers or apthous ulcers, are not contagious. They occur as shallow ulcers inside the mouth. Because a virus does not cause them, canker sores cannot be treated with anti-viral medication. To stop canker sores you must avoid certain ‘triggers” that initiate their formation. These triggers include toothpastes that contain the ingredient SLS. Unfortunately, almost all toothpastes contain this ingredient. It is what makes toothpaste foam. Stay away from certain foods like chocolate, nuts, beer and wheat products that trigger canker sores in susceptible people.

Finally, avoid injury to the inside of the mouth caused by tooth brushing, hard candy, hard foods or chewing on pen caps or other hard objects.

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