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Mouth sores of any variety are not fun. Canker sores and cold sores are both common mouth sores; however, in order to properly care for them, you need to know that there is a difference. Let’s look at what those differences are.

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are highly contagious sores that look like small blisters around the edges of the lips (they can also show up on the chin). Canker sores, on the other hand, are not contagious in the slightest. They are painful, round ulcerations and can occur on the tongue, lips, cheeks, in the mouth, or on the outside of your lips.

As for the causes of the sores: cold sores come from the herpes 1 virus, and spread through skin contact or saliva. There is no effective vaccine once you’ve been infected, and, unfortunately, most people have been infected by the time they are 10. Once you have been infected, the virus lies dormant in your body until it is triggered by something. The virus can be triggered by fever, stress, illness, or other biological or emotional stressors.

We do know precisely what causes cold sores, however, scientists are still unsure of what causes canker sores. The sores seem to run in families; some scientists believe there are bacteria or viruses involved. Injuries to your mouth’s soft tissues can also cause canker sores. You typically do not need to see a professional about canker sores, unless this is your first time getting them, or if they are 1 centimeter or larger. If your sore was caused by injury, it may be wise to meet with Dr. Scharla Collins to check for secondary infection or other damage.

If you are in the Mesquite, Texas area and have mouth sores that need to be seen by a dentist, call Texas Teeth at 972-270-2062 to set an appointment. Our team will be happy to help you relieve the pain and get back to a healthy smile.