Despite what many people think, cold sores and canker sores are not the same condition. While cold sores usually appear on a person’s lips and are very contagious, canker sores are actually a type of ulcer that occurs on the soft inside areas of a person’s mouth, like the tongue or cheeks. Canker sores are typically red with a white center and may cause tingling or burning in a person’s mouth. At this time, doctors are still unsure of the exact cause of these sores, but they seem to occur most often in teens and 20-somethings.
Most canker sores will heal on their own within one or two weeks, but people who have extremely painful or persistent cases should see a dentist or doctor. Severe symptoms include having trouble eating or drinking, experiencing a fever, feeling high levels of pain, and noticing very large sores for more than two weeks.
In this case, your doctor may prescribe medication to help get rid of the canker sores. It’s important to communicate with your dentist regularly about any oral health problems you’ve developed so you can begin treatment as soon as possible. Don’t let canker sores make you or your loved ones cantankerous any longer!