17064 Robbins Road
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Carolyn Moore D.D.S.
1769 Inkster Rd
Garden City, MI, 48135
Thomas J Vaneenenaam D.D.S.
243 E Main Ave
Zeeland, MI, 49464
1318 Forest Bay Dr
Waterford, MI, 48328
Mark R Cotton D.D.S. Plc
8400 Allen Rd
Allen Park, MI, 48101
People often use the terms "canker sores" and "cold sores" interchangeably. While both are very painful, a canker mouth sore is found on the inside of the mouth and is not contagious; cold sores are located on the inside or outside of the mouth and are contagious.
These sores are found inside the cheeks, on your tongue or the bottom of your mouth, and sometimes on your gums. They range from the size of a tiny pinhead to a penny. The sores are grayish-white in the center and circled with a red inflammation. Since it's an open mouth sore, it hurts when touched by anything, including saliva. They can burn and itch, too.
Canker sores might be called the "stress sores," because they are caused by different types of stress:
About one in five people get them. Women in the 20-to-50 year age group get them more often. Once you get them, you're likely to experience them again. However, they usually go away after seven to ten days, although some can be longer-lasting.
An antimicrobial mouth rinse may lessen the irritation. Temporary relief can be provided by over-the-counter topical anesthetics. Pain relief varies with different products. Some medications provide a protective film that physically blocks contact with food and saliva, lessening irritation.
Good oral hygiene and a healthy diet are preventive measures for reducing the frequency of outbreaks.
Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are caused by the virus herpes simplex. These are painful blisters that usually break out around the lips and sometimes under the nose or chin and normally heal within one week. They are very contagious. The virus stays in the body, causing recurrent lesions prompted from a fever, sunburn, skin abrasions, or stress.
They can be treated by your dentist with the same topical anesthetics to relieve pain and irritation as for canker sores. Prescription antiviral drugs can be effective in reducing viral infections that cause flare-ups.
Additionally, there are new topical medications (ointments) now available that shorten the duration of a breakout, when applied immediately after the cold mouth sore is noticed. All antiviral medications work best in the prodromal or early stage of the lesion. If the wound is open and sore, these medications are of little use as the healing time is still the same.
Be sure to consult with your dentist when any mouth sores do not heal.
By Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO
These days, computers are really changing the way we live and work. You've probably experienced their impact in your own home. And believe me, technology is also helping raise our dental practice to a new level of safety, accuracy, and comfort.
Keeping up with all these advances is a full-time occupation that's as important as my work at chairside. One of the most promising of these breakthroughs is an improvement on the oldest evaluation technology we have - dental x-rays.
For close to a century, dentists have used x-rays to detect cavities and damage invisible to the eye. We've long been aware of the drawbacks. Though x-ray radiation is slight, many patients find it a cause for concern. And reading the negative requires a skilled, professional eye-which means my patients can't see what I see.
That's why my office uses a Computed Dental Radiography System as an x-ray alternative. A computer enhances a "photo" of your teeth and shows it instantly on a screen. This new system requires 90% less radiation than the old film x-rays, and can magnify the image up to 300 times. It's as easy to read as a snapshot. When I discuss something I see in your mouth, you'll be able to view it right along with me.
This is an exciting time to be a dentist. We're re-thinking and refining virtually every aspect of our dental practice, and I wanted to pass a bit of it along to you.