Mouth sores can be quite a pain, in more ways than one. They can be classified into two types of sores, canker sores, the more common ones, and cold sores, which are not typically found inside the mouth although it is not unheard of.
Canker sores are the more frequent ones, usually found in the mouth and have the shape of a round white or yellow spot with a red swell around it. Their causes are many and the good thing about them is that you cannot transfer them to another.
Cold sores, on the other hand, you can transfer and they are the result of the herpes simplex virus. They take the shape of red spots with a blister in the center. It can hurt and feel sore, therefore the name, as well as be swollen, too. They can be found on the lip or outside the mouth, though in rare occasions you can also find them inside the mouth. You can get them via saliva or contact with another person who has it, or by simply touching a cold sore. It is worth noting that some people have the virus in them but are not affected by it, therefore signaling the importance of the immune system.
Canker Sore Prevention
Canker sores can be caused by many things, starting from the food you eat, to physical injuries to the mouth such as biting it. Acidic food and juices can also be a cause of these types of sores and not to mention stress. A deficit of minerals and vitamins can also be a cause, that is, an improper diet.
In order to prevent canker sores, you should note that their exact cause is often unknown, but that you could prevent them if you happen to know your own cause. At times, they can be caused by bites to the mouth which can be prevented by chewing slower or avoiding talk while you eat. At other times, sharp food can also be a cause like chips, bread crust and the like. Being cautious while eating those is as good advice as you can get.
Using softer brushes is another way to avoid getting canker sores, as is stress control and limiting or completely omitting tobacco and alcohol from your life.
A balanced diet helps with many things, so does it with the prevention of canker sores, especially zinc, folic acid, iron and vitamin B12.
Visiting your dentist is always a good choice, as they can tell you if your sores are problematic or simply a sign of temporary bad habits.
Cold Sore Prevention
Since cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, you would have to get the virus to get the sores. Getting the virus is surprisingly easy, you only need to kiss the infected person or share glasses of wine or maybe the fork that you forgot for your camping trip.
Getting the virus is one thing, but you still may do things to prevent it from spreading and causing cold sores to form. You should avoid touching the sores, as you might help them spread to the eye or other people, too. You should avoid stress and keep your immune system up as colds or a flu can trigger the sores. Likewise, you should avoid sunlight or get a lip balm or sunscreen, as direct sunlight can make the sores flare up.
Talk to your doctor if you are prone to getting cold sores. They can help you in preventing them, as well as help you find your specific cause.