Unsightly cold sores and painful canker sores bedevil many people. Even though they are often confused with each other, they actually have two separate causes. Your Milford cosmetic dentist, Dr. Mitchell I. Quintner, explains the differences between the two and what you can do when one erupts.
Cold sores usually form on the lips or around the mouths, and usually break out during times of illness or stress. During an outbreak, one or more tiny mouth lesions can form, and will often combine into one large lesion. While the sore is rarely painful, they are ugly, causing sufferers embarrassment. The sores generally go away on their own within a week to 10 days.
People who have cold sores have the herpes simplex type 1 virus. Unlike its cousin, herpes simplex type 2, it is not a sexually transmitted disease, but it is contagious. Unfortunately, it is also permanent. Once it is in the body, it is impossible to eradicate.
Even though nothing can be done to prevent an outbreak, cold sore sufferers can take steps to reduce the significance of one. There are a number of over-the-counter treatments that might work. Patients should begin treating the spot where they suspect the outbreak will occur the moment they feel the tell-tale burning or tingling sensation.
Unlike cold sores, which are usually external, canker sores always form in the mouth, usually on the tongue, inside of the cheek, floor, or soft palate. Scientists still do not know what causes canker sores to break out, and thus, do not know any way to prevent or cure them. For most people, the sores, while very painful, will usually go away on their own within two weeks. However, some people suffer from large, debilitating sores that require medical treatment. Severe outbreaks might be a sign of a more serious underlying problem, such as Crohn’s Disease.
Like with cold sores, the best treatment for a canker sore is usually an OTC medicine, to numb the pain. A saline solution might also work.
Consult Your Dentist
For patients concerned with cold or canker sores, speaking with their dentist might be the best solution. The dentist will be able to recommend specific and effective medicines that can control the pain and reduce the severity of the outbreak, and let the patient know if further consultation with a doctor might be required.
If you wish to talk about any aspect of your oral health, or discuss our cosmetic dentistry services callSensitive Care Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. You can contact us by calling (203) 878-6699 to schedule your appointment at our 06460 cosmetic dentistry office. We welcome patients from Milford and all neighboring communities.