Cold Sore vs. Canker Sore

Becky RDH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becky Larson, RDH

Cold Sore vs. Canker Sore

 In the dental field, we often have patients that are afflicted with both cold sores and canker sores.  These sores are often confused with one another.  Since medications and treatments differ with both of these types of sores, I will explain the difference between them and why it’s important to identify each correctly.

A canker sore is more like a shallow ulcer and is found inside the mouth.  Canker sores can be painful and make it difficult to eat or talk.  Most often, canker sores are caused by stress or injury to the tissues in the mouth.  Sometimes certain types of food can further trigger or irritate a canker sore.  Less often, canker sores occur due to vitamin deficiencies, gastrointestinal diseases (like Crohn’s or celiac), nutritional problems, and/or an impaired immune system.  Usually after a few days the pain from a canker sore decreases significantly.  They usually don’t require treatment and clear up within a week or two.  However, dentists can treat canker sores with a laser for immediate pain relief if needed.

A cold sore on the other hand is caused by a virus and are extremely contagious.  A cold sore is actually a group of fluid-filled blisters and occur outside the mouth, usually around the lips or nose or under the chin.   Once the blisters break, they will ooze and then crust over.  Cold sores are most contagious during the oozing stage.  Cold sores are sometimes referred to as “fever blisters” and are caused by the herpes simplex virus.   While there is no cure for cold sores, anti-viral medications can be prescribed to help promote faster healing.  Because they are extremely contagious with no cure, most dental professionals recommend rescheduling  your dental visits until after the cold sore has crusted over to prevent spreading of the virus.

As always, if you have questions or concerns with your oral health or notice persistent sores that won’t heal, please consult your dentist for recommended treatment options and/or medications.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/canker-sores#1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cold-sore/symptoms-causes/syc-20371017

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Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

Lindsay RDH

Lindsay Olsen, RDH

Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) is a common side effect of many of the medications that are commonly prescribed to nursing home patients.
  • Saliva has antimicrobial properties as well as minerals that help defend tooth enamel against acid attacks from food, drinks, and decay-causing bacteria (US HHS, 2000).
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment are also contributors to xerostomia.
  • According to the Surgeon General report, LTCF residents are prescribed and average of eight drugs (US HHS, 2000).

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Mouth:

  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Thick or ropey saliva
  • Fissured tongue, burning feeling of tongue
  • No saliva pooling on the floor of the mouth
  • Examination gloves stick to the tongue or oral mucosa
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, speaking
  • Increased need to drink water, especially at night
  • Bad breath
  • Denture pain
  • Bacterial infections
  • Dental decay
  • Increased plaque

Relieving Dry Mouth:

  • Sip on water or sugarless drinks, or suck on ice chips
  • Avoid irritants, such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy
  • Avoid salty or spicy foods
  • Use humidifier at night
  • Consider using saliva substitutes (Biotene, ACT fluoride rinse for dry mouth)

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and

Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health. (2000). Oral health in 

America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Retrieved from

https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/datastatistics/surgeongeneral/report/executivesummary

.htm

US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and

Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health. (2000). Oral health in 

America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Retrieved from

https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/datastatistics/surgeongeneral/report/executivesummary

.htm

Is using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse safe?

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Lora Cook, RDH

Is using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse safe?

Many commercial mouth washes and whitening strips have hydrogen peroxide as one of the key active ingredients. However many are using straight hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash to kill germs. Is this a safe and effect practice?

Hydrogen peroxide is compose of water and oxygen that works to kills germs and bacteria, and helps to whiten teeth.  It comes in either 1% or 3% concentrations. You can even see it in action! When it foams in your mouth you know that it is working at killing bacteria.  It also can be used to clean your night guard, retainers, or even soak your tooth brush in. Best of all it is inexpensive.

However this is not the magic cure all, there are some strong precautions that I would like to share with you.  While there are many benefits it can be harmful on gum tissue if used in too strong a solution or too long. It is very drying to the tissues. This will also work to kill good bacteria in the mouth.  This will leave opportunity for yeast infections of the mouth to flourish, also called thrush. Candidiasis is a fungal or yeast infection of the mouth or throat. Candida yeast that normally live in the mucosa membrane will flourish causing a over growth of candida, commonly called yeast infections.

This can be a relatively safe practice by following a few guidelines; dilute peroxide with 50% water, and do use every day.  If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry mouth stick with a over the counter rinse formulated for dry mouth sufferers.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/hydrogen-peroxide-as-mouthwash.html

http://copublications.greenfacts.org/en/tooth-whiteners/l-3/6-tooth-whitening-side-effects.htm

http://www.healthline.com/health/thrush#Symptoms4

Smiles for Hope

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Amanda Orvis, RDH

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Announcing the kick-off of our annual Smiles for Hope Whitening Campaign.

Once again, our office has partnered with Hope Arising Charity Foundation. Hope Arising is a non-profit organization that benefits children and families in Dera Ethiopia. Through our partnership with this amazing organization we are able to help provide dental and medical services, as well as education opportunities for hundreds of children and families in Dera every year.

March 1st through June 30th all whitening procedures done in our office will be provided at a discounted rate, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Hope Arising Charity Foundation. All donations are tax-deductible.

 

Donation Levels:

Level 1: In-office whitening and take-home whitening gel with custom fit trays

Level 2: In-office whitening

Level 3: Take-home whitening gel and custom fit trays

Level 4: Flat donation of your choice

 

Hope Arising has two ways you can donate: via credit card through PayPal, or by check

You do not have to be a patient of record at our office to participate in this campaign. All we require is a quick exam to make sure the whitening participant is safe to whiten.

Your bright white smile can make a lasting impression on Dera through your donations and support. So, call us today to schedule your whitening appointment!

Hope Arising Banner

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://hopearising.org/