At Vanguard Dental Group in Derry NH, one of our roles is to help you take care of your mouth. Some of our patients have problems with mouth sores, thus the topic of this post.
If you have a mouth sore that lasts more than a week or two, it is essential to come in for an exam. Mouth sores can be an indicator of disease, and an early assessment helps with preventing more serious issues. If needed, essential treatment and pain relief can be offered. In extreme cases, we can refer you to a medical professional who specializes in problems 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 typically heal in a week or two. Antimicrobial mouth-rinses, over-the-counter topical anesthetics, and avoiding spicy and acidic foods aids in temporary relief while your sore is healing.
- 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 generally heal in about a week. Some over-the-counter anesthetics deliver relief.
Hope on the Horizon
There are 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.
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