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Self Care

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Mouth Sores

 

Mouth sores can be painful, unsightly and slow to heal, but most of them away on their own in a couple of week. They can be uncomfortable so we need to find ways to treat pain, promote healing, and keep n sores from forming.

Canker sores and cold sores are the two most common types of mouth Sores :

Canker sores are found on the wet surfaces inside the mouth, on the gums or inside the lips or cheeks. They can be red or yellowish white with a red border. The causes for this is unknown.

Cold sores usually crop up outside the mouth, on or around the lips. More than half of us have had these. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 and can start before or during a cold or the flu. Because cold sores can easily spread from one person to another, kissing someone with a cold sore should be avoided. Often an early warning signal is given affected area will itch, tingle, or before the sore forms.

Both cold sores and canker sores are more apt to develop when you are under stress. Fatigue, frustration, emotional upset, poor nutrition, and other stress may weaken the bodyís defenses also can lead to sore mouth.

Concerns for Children :

The virus that causes cold sores can be dangerous to newborn babies. Keep newborn away from anyone who has a cold sore or the itching, burning symptoms that precede cold sore.

Self Care :

Apply over-the-counter products such as Anbesol for canker sores, and try Carmex or Blistex for cold sores. These wonít make the sores heal any faster, but they may reduce the pain.

Avoid eating acidic foods such as citrus fruits or tomatoes. Salty, spicy, or vinegary foods may irritate mouth sores, too. Also avoid foods with sharp edges, like potato chips.

Cold sores are contagious. If you have one or feel one coming on, avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone else until the sore has healed.

Signs and Symptoms :

  • Large, bleeding, and painful ulcers on gums.
  • Recurring mouth sores.
  • Mouth sores that donít heal within 3 weeks.
  • Small whitish, lacy sores.
  • Creamy yellow patches on inside of mouth that may be sore or painful.
  • Mouth sores caused by poorly fitting dentures or rough or broken teeth.
  • For canker sores: One or more red, craterlike sores inside the mouth, on gums, or inside of lips or cheeks.
  • For cold sores: One or more blisters on the outside of the mouth area.

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    All health care decisions should only be made with consultation from your physician.

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