Eglinton East Dental

Cold Sore or Canker Sore?


Our caring dental team can help reduce pain and discomfort from canker sores with our safe and easy light laser treatment.


At Dentistry @ 150 Eglinton East, we get a lot of questions about cold sores and canker sores. Are they the same? Are they contagious? Should I be worried? What can I do about them?

First things first – cold sores and canker sores are completely unrelated. It’s true that both can be painful but knowing the differences can help keep them in check. We know the ins and outs.

Canker Sore - Not Contagious Dentistry @ 150 Eglinton East

What is a canker sore?

A canker sore typically occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth like inside the cheeks, lips, on or under the tongue, the roof of the mouth and on the gums. It is usually light-coloured at its base and can have a red exterior border. Canker sores are not contagious.

A cold sore or fever blister, occurs on the outside of your mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips. A cold sore is contagious because it’s caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it’s usually painful and filled with fluid.

Treatment for canker sores

We now have the ability to significantly reduce the discomfort associated with canker sores with the use of a diode light laser treatment.

Typically, a canker sore will last for 10 to 14 days and quite often is very painful. Without the need for any anesthesia and just a few minutes of your time, we can apply the light of a laser to your canker sore and you can enjoy immediate relief from the nagging discomfort.

Cold sores can be treated effectively with some over-the-counter topical creams; sometimes, an antiviral medication may be prescribed to alleviate discomfort.

When should I see my dentist?

Not all sores are harmless. Schedule an appointment if you notice any changes in your mouth, including pain or discomfort, or the presence of sores in the mouth, even if they are not painful. A biopsy (tissue sample taken for testing) usually can determine the cause or rule out another disease. Your dentist can recognize and often diagnose the type of mouth sore or spot on the basis of its appearance and location.


Questions? Please contact us!

Treat yourself to a brighter smile at Dentistry @ 150 Eglinton East!