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“I love mouth sores!” said no one ever. Mouth sores — occasionally referred to as soft-tissue disturbances — in or around the mouth can be painful, unattractive and a potential signal of a more serious disease. Multiple of our patients have confused cold sores and canker sores, so we’ve assembled this comparison to help you in recognizing the difference.

Canker sores. Canker sores can develop in the mouth or on the tongue, but not outside of the mouth. They are usually little, whitish-yellow cuts and are not contagious. About 50 percent of the population can develop them, but we still don’t understand what causes them; some scientists suspect stress as a contributor. If you do have canker sores, watch out for acidic foods, which can worsen pain from the sores.

Cold sores. Regularly confused with canker sores, cold sores are fluid-filled sacs that appear outside of the mouth, normally on the lips, and their fluid can bubble-over or crust. They can be very contagious, and they regularly last about seven to ten days. Such as with canker sores, they may be related to stress; they can also form from weather exposure or fatigue. Ask us about antiviral medicines if you are dealing with cold sores.

If you have an infected sore or have had a sore for more than two weeks, please contact us instantly so we can evaluate your greatest course of treatment. Let us know at 281-493-1550 to pencil in your next appointment with Dr. Dwight Price and the team at Price Dental Associates in Houston, Texas.