What exactly are canker and cold sores? How do you differentiate them, and how do you treat them?

Cold sores typically appear on the lips and the outside of the mouth. They usually appear in clusters, initially clear and then cloudy.

Canker sores only appear on the inside of your mouth, cheeks, tongue, lips, or even your throat. They can be painful and uncomfortable and obstruct speech and eating.

What causes cold sores?

HSV-1, also known as herpes labialis, is a kind of herpes simplex virus that causes blisters around the mouth and is the source of cold sores.

The herpes simplex virus typically enters the body through a breach in the skin inside or around the mouth. It is possible to spread the virus via kissing or touching an infected cold sore, an infected fluid, or a person's saliva.

What causes canker sores?

Unfortunately, no one is aware of the primary cause of canker sores. However, injuries to the mouth's interior, such as accidentally biting the tongue or cheek, eating too many spicy or acidic meals, hormonal fluctuations, and food allergies, are among the variables that may cause them.

How to prevent cold sores?

Sadly, the herpes simplex virus is a lifelong resident of your body. However, you may take a few simple preventative measures, such as avoiding contact with contaminated bodily fluids and refraining from sharing utensils, glasses, and other items with people with cold sores.

Additionally, you can reduce the frequency of outbreaks by avoiding stress, contracting a cold or the flu, using lip balm and sunscreen, washing your hands frequently, and refraining from touching cold sores.

How to reduce canker sore pain?

Gargling with mouthwash or salt water may help relieve canker sore pain. You can also try mixing hydrogen peroxide with water and wiping the infected area with a cotton swab.

How to treat canker and cold sores?

Many over-the-counter drugs are available for pain relief and healing of canker sores. Medications are typically in the form of ointments or gels that you can apply directly to the affected area, while oral rinsing can also be another option. To clean and disinfect the sore, you can also try at-home therapies like rinsing with salt water or peroxide.

Meanwhile, you can purchase over-the-counter topical treatments and ointments for cold sores. However, when cold sores are severe and excruciatingly painful, doctors may recommend medicines or a more potent cream; occasionally, they may also call for medical treatment and take a while to recover.

5 Common Canker Sore Triggers To Avoid

  1. Acidic food
    No one enjoys applying acid to a wound, which will undoubtedly worsen the agony. Furthermore, because acids are corrosive substances, they destroy anything they encounter. The most prevalent acids found naturally in food are malic and citric acids. However, they don't corrode as much as other sorts. However, consuming food that are high in these acids can make your sores worse. So, you might want to avoid citrus foods and fermented vegetables if you have a terrible case of canker sores.
  2. Spicy food
    You should be cautious of more than just sour food. In some cases, eating spicy food may even result in the development of canker sores. The chemical called capsaicin, which is typically present in spices, attaches to particular receptors in your tongue. When this substance binds to these receptors, which sense temperature, you experience a burning sensation. Therefore, you may picture what this might do to your wounds. To avoid future irritability, staying away from the chilies could be a good idea.
  3. Salty food
     There are well-documented advantages of using salt to heal superficial wounds. According to a recent article, the body's chemical composition forces the liquid inside cells to leave the body. These liquids allow bacteria to remain in the wound. You can eliminate these infections when you apply salt. However, not all salty things are safe to use on your wounds. Some of them can contain substances or microorganisms that make the issue worse. A decent salt rinse will treat your ulcers properly if you have canker sores.
  4. Sharp surfaces
    It is unknown why, but canker sores can result from minor wounds. For this reason, people who use braces are more likely to develop these lesions. However, in addition to being a possible cause, sharp surfaces can also worsen your sores. Ask your dentist what you can do to decrease the impact.
  5. Some non-steroidal medicines for inflammation
    While some people can experience pain relief from these drugs, others may experience side effects. Mainly Ibuprofen is a common suspect. Consult your doctor if you're still unsure how these anti-inflammatory medications affect your sores.

DIY Home Remedies for Canker Sores

Aloe Vera Juice. To reduce the discomfort, rinse your mouth thoroughly with aloe vera juice at least three or four times daily.

Salt and Baking Soda. Combine two teaspoons of salt and one baking soda in a glass of warm water. Until the canker sores go away, use it to rinse your mouth at least twice or three times every day. Another option is to form a paste out of baking soda and water, apply it to the affected region, and then wash it off after fifteen minutes.

Black Tea. After removing it from heated water, place a black tea bag on the afflicted area. To release the tea water, lightly press on it. For ten to fifteen minutes, repeat this and continue as necessary.

Cilantro. Boil two tablespoons of cilantro in a glass of water. After boiling, drain the liquid and let it cool until it is tepid. At least three times each day, use this to rinse your mouth.

Grapefruit. Rinse your mouth with a solution made of water and five to six drops of grapefruit juice at least twice daily.

Onion. Put a piece of onion on the canker sores and let it sit there for fifteen minutes. Then, rinse some ice water around your mouth. Although unpleasant, onions are effective at reducing pain and healing wounds.

Plum juice. Use plum juice to rinse your mouth or soak a cotton ball in the mixture and place it over the affected area for 20 minutes. Do these three or four times every day.

Tea Tree Oil. Combine three to five drops of tea tree oil with one-fourth cup of warm water. Put a cotton ball in the mixture, then press it on the affected parts. Complete these three to four times a day.

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