As a dentist, one of my roles is to help you take care of your mouth. Some of my patients have dilemmas with mouth sores, thus the topic of today’s message.
If you have a mouth sore that lasts more than a week or two; it is important to come in for an exam. Mouth sores can be an indicator of disease, and an early assessment assists with preventing more serious problems. If required, important treatment and pain relief can be offered. In extreme cases, I will refer you to a medical professional who specializes in conditions that can cause mouth sores.
There are two types of mouth sores; canker sores and cold sores.
Canker sores are small ulcer-like sores with a white or gray base and a red border. They are found on the inside of the mouth and while they are not contagious, they can be painful. Canker sores generally heal in a week or two. Antimicrobial mouth rinses, over-the-counter topical anesthetics, and avoiding spicy and acidic foods help with temporary relief while your sore is healing.
The cause of canker sores is not certain. Possible explanations include a cut on the inside of the mouth, a reaction to extreme temperatures, acids from food or drink, fatigue, stress, and allergies. Some studies point to bacteria a virus, or a combination of these factors.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters or Herpes Simplex, are groups of fluid-filled blisters that appear around the lips, sometimes appearing under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are contagious and painful but oftentimes heal in about a week. Some over-the-counter anesthetics provide relief.
Hope on the Horizon
There are cutting-edge antiviral drugs on the market that have shown promise in lessening outbreaks, but there is currently no known cure. The initial infection, known as primary herpes, often transpires before adulthood. Once the virus infects you, it may stay in your body and remain inactive or cause intermittent cold sore outbreaks. Outbreaks may be triggered by a fever, sunburn, skin abrasions, stress, or exposure to extremes in temperature.
Talk To Your Dentist
In some cases, a change in the way you care for your mouth the frequency of mouth sores. If you are in the Logan, area and would like to talk to a dental professional about mouth sores, give us a call at Aspen Dental of Cache Valley to schedule an examination.
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