All Posts tagged canker

What Are Mouth Sores?

What Are Mouth Sores?

Mouth sores can be annoying, painful and not easy on the eye. Some are their causes stem from bacterial, viral, fungal infections, a loose orthodontic wire, a denture that doesn’t fit, a sharp edge from a broken tooth or a filling. Among the most common mouth sores are canker sores and cold sores. Different types of sores can appear anywhere in the mouth. Some of the places mouth sores can occur are the gums, lips, inner cheeks, tongue and bottom of the mouth.

Canker sores are small pale or yellow ulcers with a white or gray base and a red border and appear inside the mouth. Their exact cause is uncertain but some experts believe that immune system problems, bacteria or viruses may be involved. You may have one, or more of them but they are not contagious. Women seem to get them more than men. Fatigue, stress or allergies can increase the likelihood of a canker sore. A cut caused by biting the cheek or tongue, or reactions from hot foods or beverages may contribute to canker sore development. Intestinal problems, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, also seem to make some people more susceptible. On a positive note, they usually heal on their own after a week or two.


Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. They are groups of painful, fluid-filled blisters that often erupt around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. They are caused by the herpes virus type 1 and contrary to canker sores, are very contagious. The initial infection, which usually occurs before adulthood, may be confused with a cold or flu and can cause painful lesions to erupt throughout the mouth. Once a person is infected with primary herpes, the virus stays in the body and causes occasional attacks. For some people, the virus remains inactive. However, an attack may follow a fever, sunburn, skin abrasions or emotional upset. They usually heal in a week by themselves and also with the help of prescriptions.

cold sore

How do you care of a sore while at home? Avoid anything that is hot, spicy, salty and citrus, gargle salt water. You can also eat popsicles if you have a mouth burn!

Take good care!