Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, can develop in any part of the mouth, gums or inside of the cheeks. Generally, the sores are not contagious and can be caused by a number of things. Emotional stress, certain medications, hormonal changes, food allergies and medical problems can all lead to canker sores. Also, minor injuries to the mouth tissues when you are brushing your teeth, an accidental bite to the inside of your cheek while sleeping or eating can also lead to canker sores. Researchers have also reported that family history and the lack of certain vitamins and minerals in your daily diet, can result to reoccurring canker sores.
However, canker sores is often confused with cold sores. Both of these sores share some similar symptoms and usually occur near the same location. The only problem here is that cold sores are are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). They (cold sores) are highly contagious and can be passed along through kissing or sharing eating utensils.
Well, as we continue through this article, I will show how to differentiate between canker sores and cold sores. They may appear to be similar, but they are not the same. Canker sores are not contagious, but they can be very painful.
During diagnosis of canker sores, biopsy or culturing are not always necessary since doctors and dentists can easily identify them via physical examination. Canker sores are usually identified using their appearance, their location and the type of tissue on which they have formed.
Canker sores can appear from nowhere, the earliest sign of canker sore development is not visible. At the start, you will experience just the sensation of tingling, burning or numbness in the area where the lesion will ultimately form. When you look at some fully developed canker sores, they are usually white or yellow in the center, surrounded by a ring of red, inflamed soft tissue. A fully developed canker sore is usually painful, shallow and less than 1 mm but may enlarge to ½ to 1 inch in diameter.
However, it’s important to know that canker sores only occur inside the mouth. Cold sores on the other hand, occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on the face, outside the lips and on the nose.
Cold Sores Pictures
Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV), making them to be highly contagious. Outbreaks can be triggered by stress, fatigue, injury, or exposure to extreme conditions. They are red, fluid-filled blisters that usually cluster in groups. They are seen mostly outside of the mouth, around the lips and nose.
Canker Sores Pictures
The exact cause of canker sores is not clearly defined. Although, it can be triggered by emotional stress, weakened immune system, hormonal changes, oral trauma, nutritional deficiencies, allergies and certain health problems. They appear as small open sores with white, yellow or gray center and bright red border. They can also appear in groups or singly. These sores can develop inside of the lips and cheeks, the floor of the mouth, the tip or underside of the tongue, soft palate and gums.
Learn more on – Treatments for canker sores.