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Cold Weather and Mouth Sores

For some, cold weather brings sores in and on the mouth and lips. Canker and cold sores are commonly mistaken
as the same thing, and although they have similar triggers you’ll need to know the difference to be
able to find the most effective treatment.


Canker sores often show up under your tongue inside of your cheek or lip or at the base of your gum line and can cause
pain when you eat, drink or talk. They are shaped in a circle or oval and are yellow or shite in color and usually have a red
border. These sores usually don’t appear outside of the mouth and they are not contagious.

The cause of these sores is difficult to diagnose but can include: food sensitivities, stress, hormones, injury to the mouth (cheek biting, aggressive brushing or a minor sporting accident), and oral products (like mouthwash) that contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS).

Some home remedies that might help with the healing time and pain include applying honey or ice to the sore, rinsing your
mouth with warm salt water or a mixture of water and baking soda.


Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. The sores are usually found in a cluster and appear on the outside of the mouth, usually on the lips and around the nose. Cold sore suffers report to be able to “feel” a sore coming on and report an itching, tingling or burning sensation prior to the sore appearing 24-48 hours later.

Cold sores are caused by a viral infection and are extremely contagious. Once you have a cold sore, the virus never
leaves your body. And although their name implies that they are related to the common cold, this is not true.
Triggers include: stress, fatigue, harsh wind or sunlight, hormones.

To avoid a breakout, don’t engage in physical contact with someone currently suffering with a cold sore. Keep your hands
clean and don’t share items like lip balm, towels, etc Reduce your stress and get plenty of sleep. Limit exposure to excessive sunlight (think “beach” and “snow skiing”) and also limit your cosmetic dermatologic procedures like laser peels, etc.

Home remedies like aloe vera can help sooth inflammation and Vitamin E an help aid skin cell production and Vitamin C can boost levels of white cells which help fight off viral infections.

When asked if patients with active cold sores should keep their dental appointments, office manager Molly Burnett at Colorado Healthy Smiles said that usually patients are advised to wait until their active sores are healed because the area can be painful and may crack or bleed during even minor dental treatments like cleanings.

Author Info

Dan Stratford