Canker Sores and Cold Sores


Mouth sores, irritations and lesions can be painful, unsightly and can interfere with eating and speaking.


What are canker sores?

Canker sores are small white swellings or sores surrounded by an area of redness. While canker sores are not contagious, they are often confused with cold sores, which are caused by the contagious herpes virus.


Canker sores occur inside the mouth, can recur, and can be minor (small), major (larger) or herpetiform (multiple, in groups or clusters).


Canker sores are common and often recur. Although the exact cause is uncertain, some experts believe that immune system problems, bacteria or viruses may be involved.


Factors such as stress, trauma, allergies, cigarette smoking, iron or other vitamin deficiencies, and heredity may also make one susceptible.


Healing time and treatment for canker sores:

Canker Sores usually heal after seven to 10 days, although recurrent outbreaks are common. Non-prescription topical ointments and pain relievers can provide temporary relief.


Rinsing with antimicrobial mouth rinses may help reduce the irritation.


Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed to reduce secondary infection.


What are cold sores?

Cold sores, also called fever blisters or herpes simplex, are groups of painful, fluid-filled blisters, usually occur outside the mouth around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin.


Cold sores are usually caused by a type of herpes virus and are very contagious. The first infection often occurs in children, sometimes without symptoms, and may be confused with a cold or flu.


Once a person is infected, the virus stays in the body, occasionally causing recurrent attacks. For some people, however, the virus remains inactive.


Healing time and treatment for cold sores:

Cold Sore blisters usually heal in about a week. Because there is no cure for herpes infections, the blisters may reoccur during times of emotional upset, exposure to sunlight, allergies or fever.


Non-prescription topical anesthetics can provide temporary relief. Prescription antiviral drugs may reduce these kinds of viral infections.


Colgate products for the treatment of Canker Sores and Sores


Colgate Orabase

• Maximum strength paste formulas with 20% Benzocaine

Fast, temporary relief from pain associated with canker sores, and oral irritations

• Shields from further irritations


Colgate Peroxyl

Recommended by dental professionals to cleanse and soothe canker sores and mouth irritations

Bubbling action cleans and alleviates discomfort to promote healing

• Alcohol-free formula is ideal for sensitive mouths


Zilactin products by Blairex



Use Zilactin®-B for sores inside the mouth

Benzocaine 10%

See post Info /  Patient treatment



Early Relief Cold Sore Gel

Treatment for Cold Sores/Fever Blisters

See post Info /  Patient treatment



Use Maximum strength Zilactin®-L for early cold sore relief

See post Info /  Patient treatment

For more information and references:

1-800-BLAIREX (1-800-252-4739)


The Complete Guide to Better Dental Care, Jeffrey F. Taintor, D.D.S., M.S., and Mary Jane Taintor, 1997