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Q: Why do I get sores in my mouth?

Posted August 27, 2014 in Altoona, Advice Column, Pleasant Hill

A: Summer is a common time for sores in the mouth. There are two main types of mouth sores.

Cold sores are groups of fluid-filled blisters that often erupt outside the mouth around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 and are very contagious. Cold sore blisters usually heal in seven to 10 days by themselves. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics can provide some relief. Your dentist may prescribe antiviral drugs to reduce these kinds of viral infections in the future. Wearing sun screen lip balm can help avoid outbreaks of cold sores in the summer.

Canker sores develop inside the mouth as small white or gray sores that have a red border. They are not contagious and may occur as one sore or several. Their exact cause is uncertain, and they usually heal on their own after one or two weeks. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics and warm salt water may provide temporary relief.  Stay away from hot, spicy or acidic foods that can irritate the sore.

If you have a sore that has not healed in two weeks, please give our office a call at 515-967-3046 for an examination to determine if any additional treatment is needed.

Information from and the American Dental Association. provided by Dr. Eric Forsberg, DDS, Altoona Smiles, 950 28th Ave. S.W., Altoona, 515-200-1310.

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