If you have a mouth sore that lasts more than a week or two, it is important to come in to Alaska Premier Dental Group for an exam. Mouth sores can be an indicator of disease, and an early assessment helps with preventing more serious troubles.
If necessary, critical treatment and pain relief can be offered. In extreme cases, we will 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 sore 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.
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 or 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 typically heal in about a week. Some over-the-counter anesthetics deliver relief.
Hope on the Horizon
There are innovative 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 occurs before adulthood. Once the virus infects you, it may stay in your body and remain inactive or cause periodic cold sore outbreaks. Outbreaks may be triggered by a fever, sunburn, skin abrasions, stress, or exposure to extremes in temperature.
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