Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cold Sores and Canker Sores


Quite often folks ask if cold sores and canker sores are the same or different.

Cold sores and canker sores are actually not related at all, even though they often appear very similar and in the mouth area.

A cold sore is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2. Cold sores most often occur on the outside of the mouth or nose - usually on the edge of the lip or nostril. They can appear, on occasion, on the hard part inside the mouth, such as the roof of the mouth.

A canker sore, on the other hand is thought to be caused by bacterial reaction - perhaps an allergy. Canker sores most often occur on the soft mucus membrane inside the mouth or on the gums.

Canker sores, although smaller, can look very similar to a cold sore.

But the most noticeable similarity is the pain. Very painful indeed are canker sores. Inside the mouth or nose, in the mucus membranes, the nerves are plentiful and very close to the surface.

For effectively treating a cold sore, an anti-viral topical cold sore remedy is most preferred. An anti-bacterial treatment would not touch the virus but could prevent a secondary bacterial infection of the cold sore, especially when in full bloom. Secondary bacterial infections of cold sores are much more common than most people realize.

Canker sores are often effectively treated with an anti-bacterial remedy. The difficulty in treating canker sores is that any topical treatment, although the best approach, will not stay on the canker sore for more than a few seconds. As soon as you put anything in your mouth, the saliva increases and washes it away.

Quite a dilemma actually. I once tried Tea Tree Oil on a canker sore inside my mouth. WOW! Never again. That is really some nasty tasting stuff - and you have kerosene breath for the longest time.

The best solution for canker sores is an anti-bacterial mouth rinse that you have to use frequently and spit out. Most mouthwash brands are good at killing bacteria and leave a residue in your mouth for a short time.

Cold sores and canker sores are not related Both are quite a nuisance but very easily treated in their own way.

Cold Sores, Canker Sores

God Bless

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