Sores in Your Mouth

Canker Sores. Also known as Recurrent Aphthous Ulcers. These are small spots with a white or grayish base that have red borders. They occur inside your mouth, usually singly, but occasionally in pairs or in greater numbers. They are painful.

Experts aren’t sure what causes them. It could be a problem with your immune system, your body’s defense against germs. They might be caused by psychological factors such as stress or traumatic events. Bacteria or viruses might cause them as well.

What to do. To ease irritation, don’t eat spicy, hot foods or anything with a high acid content, such as tomatoes or citrus fruits. Most canker sores disappear in 7 to 10 days.

For relief, try over-the-counter “numbing” medicine that you put directly on the sore spot. If you get canker sores often, talk to your Guelph dentist Dr. Foksa and he may prescribe a steroid ointment.

Cold sores. Also known as Fever Blisters or Herpes Labialis. These emerge as vesicles, usually in small groups, rupture quickly, and ulcerate. These are caused by the herpes simplex virus. They show up on or around your lips, and can also appear under your nose or around your chin.

When you are feeling upset, it can trigger an outbreak.

What to do. Like canker sores, they heal without scaring in 7 to 10 days. However, since you can spread the virus that causes them to other people, start treatment as soon as you notice one forming.

Medications you can try include over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Ask Dr. Foksa at Downtown Dentistry if either type of treatment could help you.