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Are Canker Sores Contagious?

Are canker sores contagious? No. They are not. BUT you need to be sure your sore is not a cold sore which are highly contagious. Here are the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore. 

Canker sores are not contagious. This is because, they are not caused by an infection. Canker sores are due to a breakdown in the lining or mucous covering of the mouth, tongue or gum. 

People ask this question if canker sores are contagious because they are often confused with cold sores. 

Canker sores and cold sores are two completely different conditions. 

A cold sore is a bump on the outside surface of the mouth (usually on the lip) caused by the herpes virus. It is also called a herpes simplex infection or herpes type 1 infection. 

Difference Between Canker Sore And Cold Sore

Canker Sore

  • Canker sores affect inside the mouth - inside surface of the lip, tongue or mouth. They can occur anywhere in the mouth or tongue or lip at anytime
  • Canker sores are whitish oval or round small swellings surrounded by a red rim
  • Canker sores are not caused by infection
  • Canker sores are not contagious
  • They can be treated with hydrogen peroxide and water mouth rinse or in severe cases, steroid mouth wash or cauterization.

Cold Sore

  • Cold sore affects outside the mouth - on the outside surface of the lip or chin. They tend to occur at exactly the same spot in those who suffer from them because a cold sore virus affects a specific nerve each time
  • Cold sores are clumps of bumps or blisters with fluid inside and crusty surface
  • Cold sores are caused by the Herpes type 1 virus
  • Cold sores are highly contagious
  • They are treated with rest, use of anti-virus medicine (Valtrex or Acyclovir) or the amino-acid L-lysine.

Is it safe to kiss someone with a canker sore?

Is it safe to kiss someone with a canker sore? Yes. It is.

This is because, as mentioned above, it is not an infection. So you can not get canker sore from kissing someone with canker sore and you cannot transfer your canker sore to someone else by contact or kissing or any other means. 

It is important to know that kissing someone with canker sore in your mouth could cause you some pain. So if you are wondering what happens if you kiss someone with a canker sore, you now know that other than the person perhaps having more pain from the kissing, he or she cannot spread canker sore to you. 

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