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“I love mouth sores!” said no one ever. Mouth sores — from time to time defined as soft-tissue disturbances — in or around the mouth can be painful, unappealing and a potential signal of a more serious sickness. A number of of our patients have mixed up cold sores and canker sores, so we’ve assembled this comparison to help you in knowing the difference.

Canker sores. Canker sores can form in the mouth or on the tongue, but not outside of the mouth. They are typically small, whitish-yellow incisions and are not infectious. About 50 percent of the population can form them, but we still don’t recognize what causes them; a few scientists suspect stress as a influence. If you do have canker sores, take note of acidic foods, which can exacerbate discomfort from the sores. Most will go away on their own within five to seven days.

Cold sores. Often mixed up with canker sores, cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that appear outside of the mouth, normally on the lips, and their fluid can bubble-over or crust. They can be very contagious, and they typically last for about seven to ten days. Such as with canker sores, they are perhaps related to stress; they can also form from weather exposure or fatigue. Ask us about antiviral meds if you are dealing with cold sores.

If you have an infected sore or have had a sore for more than two weeks, please call us instantly so we can judge your greatest course of action. Reach out to us at 978-957-1898 to set up your next appointment with Dr. Jason Pujo and the staff at Merrimack Valley Dentistry in Dracut, Massachusetts.