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Mouth sores of any variety are no fun. However, in order to properly care for them, you need to know that there is a difference between the varieties. Canker sores and cold sores are both common mouth sores; let’s look at what makes them different.

Canker sores and cold sores are very different in many ways. Cold sores, or fever blisters, are highly contagious sores that look like small blisters around the edges of the lips. Canker sores, on the other hand, are not contagious at all. They are painful, round ulcerations and can occur on the tongue, lips, cheeks, in your mouth, or on the outside of your lips.

Cold sores come from the herpes 1 virus, and spread through skin contact or saliva. Additionally, there is no effective vaccine once you’ve been infected, and most people have been infected by the time they are 10. Once you have been infected, the virus lies dormant in your body until it is triggered again. This can happen due to fever, stress, other illness, or other stressors.

We know precisely what causes cold sores, however, scientists are not sure what causes canker sores. The sores do seem to run in families, though some scientists believe there are bacteria or viruses involved.  You typically do not need to see a professional about canker sores, unless this is your first time getting them, or if they are 1 centimeter or larger.

If you are in the Plano, Texas area and have mouth sores that need to be seen by a dentist, call Legacy Trails Dental at 214-227-1000 to set an appointment. Dr. Afshin Azmoodeh and our team will be happy to help you relieve the pain and get back to a healthy smile.