People often confuse cold sores and canker sores, both of which affect your mouth and are similar in appearance. Below the surface, however, the two conditions are quite different, and determining what kind of sore you’ve developed is essential for treating it. To help you understand the difference and treat your sore properly, Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal lists some of the main differences between cold and canker sores.
How Did That Sore Get There?
- Origin—One of the major differences between canker sores and cold sores is origin. Cold sores, or fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus (its cousin, the type 2 virus, is the one that causes genital warts). Canker sores, on the other hand, have no known cause, although experts believe they may be a form of localized inflammation problem.
- Contagious—The herpes simplex type 1 virus is contagious, and your cold sores may be the result of contact with someone carrying the virus. Canker sores, though, do not appear to be contagious, but seem to show more frequently during times of excessive stress or as a symptom of a more serious illness.
- Treatment—The virus that causes cold sores is deeply embedded in the body where drugs cannot effectively reach them. Therefore, there is no cure for cold sores. However, if you treat an outbreak quickly enough, you can prevent the sore from gaining a strong-enough foothold to stick around for a while. Canker sores typically heal themselves within 14 days, typically leaving no scar behind. You can, however, treat the symptoms of both canker and cold sores to reduce your discomfort. Speak with your dentist or physician to determine the best medicine for your symptoms.
Mouth Sores, Braces, and Oral Health
When you have braces, mouth lesions can become especially uncomfortable as the brackets and wires rub against them. This can be avoided by coating the offending bracket with dental wax to create a barrier between the metal and the mouth sore. Dr. Cabal can advise you on the best dental wax to use. If the lesions are especially large, see a physician immediately. Large and painful lesions can often signify a systemic illness and should always be taken seriously. To learn more, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846 to schedule a consultation with your Lake Worth orthodontist. Located in the 76135 area, we proudly serve families from Lake Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Lake Worth, and all surrounding communities.