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Cold sores and canker sores are oftentimes confused for one another because when someone sees a sore, they sometimes instantly consider it as either one. Both mouth sores — from time to time known as soft-tissue disturbances — can be painful, disagreeable, and may potentially be the result of a more grave condition. Dr. Amanda Rhoades and our dental staff want to help you understand the differences, so follow the information below to determine which sore is which.

Cold sores. These sores are fluid-filled sacs appearing outside of the mouth, normally on the lips, and their fluid can crust or bubble-over. These are very contagious and typically last about 7-10 days. They may be related to stress, but can also form because of fatigue or weather exposure. Speak with a professional about antiviral medications if you are dealing with cold sores.

Canker sores. These form on the tongue or tissues inside the mouth, but not outside of the mouth. Normally tiny, whitish-yellow cuts, these are not spreadable. About half of the population can develop them, but we still don’t recognize exactly what causes them; a few scientists suspect stress as an influence. Avoid acidic foods when you have canker sores; these foods can cause a lot of discomfort and won’t let the sore heal as quickly. If it hasn’t gone away within 5-7 days, contact a professional.

Eastern Hills Dental wants you to have the best care possible, so contact our Cincinnati, Ohio, dental clinic for a consultation or appointment, and let Dr. Amanda Rhoades and our professionals take care of you. Call 513-231-7474 today!