Canker sores are not as serious, but they can be very painful. Unfortunately, there is no cure for canker sores, but there are remedies to lessen the pain.
Cold sores are a form of the herpes virus, and highly contagious. Canker sores are not contagious and are a simple wound, not a virus. Canker sores are almost always inside the mouth, whereas cold sores often are located outside the mouth around the lips. If you have a small, round or oval spot on your tongue, the roof of your mouth or inside your cheek and it is painful to the touch or when you eat, it is probably a canker sore.
Canker sores cannot be treated and they will go away on their own, usually in a week or two. In the meantime, they can be very uncomfortable, but there are methods of easing your discomfort while you are waiting for your canker sore to go away.
A visit to the dentist can determine if the problem is actually a canker sore. If it is, you can take over-the-counter pain medications to ease the pain, or the dentist could prescribe an antibacterial mouth rinse or a topical medication.
Canker sores can be caused by a variety of things including injury to the mouth, certain fruits or vegetables that can irritate the tissues inside the mouth, vitamin deficiency or poor diet. Women get canker sores more often than men do, and children are more likely to get them than adults.
Severe cankers sores are rare, but a canker sore that is unusually large or doesn’t go away in three weeks may require treatment with prescription medications. If you have canker sores that are accompanied by fever, a feeling of sluggishness or joint pain, you should call your physician.
You can decrease the chances of getting canker sores by maintaining a healthy diet, brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled brush to avoid irritation to the tissues in your mouth, and by limiting your consumption of citrus fruits or vegetables that cause irritation to your mouth.