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What does a canker sore look like?

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Posted on Tue, 4 Mar 2014
Question: I have what appears to be a canker sore on the middle of my inner cheek. It is yellow in color. How do I know if it is a canker sore or a sore caused by herpes from oral giving oral sex? It's raised and I'm paranoid. Also, I have been having some heart burn. Could this be causing sores?
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Answered by Dr. Praveen G (56 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Differences between Canker sore and Herpes sore Detailed Answer: Hello, It is difficult to differentiate between a canker sore and a cold sore without having a look. There is often confusion between canker sores (Aphthous ulcers) and cold sores. Canker sores are particullar painful ulcers or open sores, on the inner membranes of the mouth and cheek. Non contagious and are of uncertain origin. It is mainly due to stress, trauma to the area in your mouth, allergies or by a reaction to a particular bacteria. Cold sores, on the other hand, are small red blisters that generally affect the mouth and facial areas, but usually appear on the lip and outer edge of the mouth. Cold sores are extremely contagious and are most often caused by the Herpes Simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). More importantly, when oral herpes lesions and its contents come into direct contact with the genital area through oral genital sex, genital herpes most likely will develop. If you are not sure it is wise to treat your sore as though it were a cold sore that it is caused by herpes and contagious. It is recommended that the partner with the cold sore abstain from having oral genital sex with an uninfected partner until the sores have completely healed. However if the person performing oral sex has a canker sore in his mouth, and he comes into direct contact with his partner's vaginal fluids, or blood, he may well be increasing his risks of contracting HIV from his partner if she is infected. Any type of lesion or opening in the mucous membrane of the mouth makes transmission of HIV more viable than if the lesion weren't there. As your are having heart burn due to esophageal regurgitation, it may be the cause for your canker sore. Hope I have answered your query. Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Praveen G (2 hours later)
did you see the attached report?
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Answered by Dr. Praveen G (6 hours later)
Brief Answer: Canker sore Detailed Answer: Hello, I have viewed your attachment. The location and appearance of the sore is suggesting me that it is a canker sores (Aphthous ulcers). This is a non contagious sore and it is may be due to stress, denture injuries, allergies or spicy diet. If any query please feel free to post the query. Thank you
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Dr. Praveen G

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 2448 Questions

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What does a canker sore look like?

Brief Answer: Differences between Canker sore and Herpes sore Detailed Answer: Hello, It is difficult to differentiate between a canker sore and a cold sore without having a look. There is often confusion between canker sores (Aphthous ulcers) and cold sores. Canker sores are particullar painful ulcers or open sores, on the inner membranes of the mouth and cheek. Non contagious and are of uncertain origin. It is mainly due to stress, trauma to the area in your mouth, allergies or by a reaction to a particular bacteria. Cold sores, on the other hand, are small red blisters that generally affect the mouth and facial areas, but usually appear on the lip and outer edge of the mouth. Cold sores are extremely contagious and are most often caused by the Herpes Simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). More importantly, when oral herpes lesions and its contents come into direct contact with the genital area through oral genital sex, genital herpes most likely will develop. If you are not sure it is wise to treat your sore as though it were a cold sore that it is caused by herpes and contagious. It is recommended that the partner with the cold sore abstain from having oral genital sex with an uninfected partner until the sores have completely healed. However if the person performing oral sex has a canker sore in his mouth, and he comes into direct contact with his partner's vaginal fluids, or blood, he may well be increasing his risks of contracting HIV from his partner if she is infected. Any type of lesion or opening in the mucous membrane of the mouth makes transmission of HIV more viable than if the lesion weren't there. As your are having heart burn due to esophageal regurgitation, it may be the cause for your canker sore. Hope I have answered your query. Thank you.