Mouth Sores: What Are They?

October 5, 2022

Mouth sores can make everyday activities, such as brushing teeth, eating food or talking, more difficult. These sores can appear anywhere on and inside your mouth, including your cheeks, gums and tongue. 

There are numerous types of mouth sores and disorders, the most common ones being canker sores, cold sores, and oral thrush. Most mouth sores are usually minor irritations that last about one or two weeks at most. If your sores persist longer than two weeks, you should check in with a dentist to determine the cause of your sores and rule out any serious dental problems such as oral cancer.

How Do I Know If I Have A Mouth Sore?

Most mouth sores are either round or oval with a white or yellow centre and a red border. Before the sores appear, you may notice a tingling or burning sensation a day or two before. 

Other signs and symptoms to look out for are:

  • Canker sores are small white swellings or sores surrounded by an area of redness that occurs inside the mouth. 
  • Cold sores are painful, fluid-filled blisters around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. Often confused with canker sores, cold sores occur outside the mouth.
  • Oral thrush can be recognized by the creamy, yellow-white or red patches that occur on moist surfaces in the mouth.

How Do I Treat A Mouth Sore?

Treatment varies depending on the type of mouth sore you have. For the most common type of mouth sores that we’ve talked about today, the treatment options are as follows:

  • Canker sores heal on their own after seven to 10 days. Pain relievers can provide temporary relief, while rinsing with antimicrobial mouth rinses may help reduce irritation.
  • Cold sores usually heal in about a week. There’s no cure for this type of blister, but non-prescription topical anesthetics and prescription antiviral medication can provide temporary relief. At Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre, we also use laser treatments to zap away your irritating cold sores.
  • Oral thrush treatment consists of controlling the conditions that cause the outbreaks. Some common causes are bad oral hygiene, a weakened immune system, denture-induced problems, antibiotics or oral contraceptives and dry mouth

Most mouth sores are harmless and not all mouth sores need medical attention. The best way to determine if your mouth sore can badly impact your oral health is by visiting your dentist to appropriately diagnose and treat it. Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre can provide treatments to reduce discomfort and rule out any serious health concerns and detect any issues early on. If you’d like your mouth sore checked, book an appointment with us today or visit us in Transcona, near Lagimodiere Boulevard and Regent Avenue.