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Canker Sore Vs Cold Sore

canker sore vs cold sore

Some of the infections we know today display the same signs and symptoms. That is why people tend to misidentify the kind of infection they are experiencing. These infections include canker sore and cold sore.

Canker sore and cold sore are the leading causes why oral lesions develop. While these two infections may share similar effects, they still have major differences. Let us learn how to differentiate these conditions.
 

Area of infection

Canker sores develop inside the mouth, especially on the soft tissues. These sores happen because of mouth injury and certain vitamin deficiency.

Meanwhile, cold sores happen because of the herpes simplex virus. The symptoms of this infection usually appear around the lips. Although, some people develop cold sores or lesions inside their mouths.
 

Signs and symptoms

The following symptoms will give a better understanding of each infection.
 

Canker sore:

  • The burning sensation inside the mouth
  • Tingling feeling on the gums
  • The appearance of small to large oval-like sore
  • Difficulty eating

 

Cold sore:

  • The appearance of annoying blisters or sores around the mouth
  • Lesions around the face
  • Pain in the lips
  • Sore throat
  • Fever or chills
  • Mild to severe headache
  • Swelling lymph glands

As you can see, the symptoms involving cold sore have a higher frequency compared to the canker sore. This is because of the herpes simplex virus, which affects most of the body.

Besides the major differences in symptoms, knowing the area of infection best explains the difference between these two conditions.
 

What triggers these infections?

The two common causes of canker sore are mouth injury and vitamin deficiency. Other triggering factors of this infection include consuming spicy foods, chocolate, and nuts. Stress also plays a vital role in the development of canker sores.

Meanwhile, the herpes simplex virus triggers cold sores. Treatment is available to treat this virus; however, it can reactivate alongside cold sores, other complications like fatigue, the flu, and hormonal changes.
 

Treatment

The treatment for canker sores involves OTC (over-the-counter) topical creams and gels. You only need to apply any of these topicals to the sores and wait for a few minutes to clear. Mouthwashes are also available to ease the pain of having such sores.

Meanwhile, cold sores disappear after a few weeks. However, you can use antiviral drugs to reduce the inflammation of this infection. These drugs include famciclovir and valacyclovir. Since the virus that causes this infection reactivates, keeping your immune system healthy is necessary.

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