How do oral herpes sore look?

Q. Is my oral sore due to herpes infection?

Answered by
Dr. Prerna Jain
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 01, 2016 and last reviewed on: Aug 27, 2023

Hi doctor,

Last week, I had a sore on the outside of my lower gum. My girlfriend, who is a dental assistant, told me that it is just a canker sore and it will go away. Now, I have one on the inside of the upper gum towards the roof of my mouth. If the second one is also a canker sore or is this something I obtained sexually from someone who had genital herpes? Is this an area of concern that I have an infection? Will it go away like the first one? Previously, I had maybe once or twice a year. I am currently on Adderall XR and Singulair.



Welcome to

These are called aphthous ulcers and commonly known as canker sores (attachment removed to protect patient identity). The reason why they occur is unknown. It could be a good allergy or vitamin B12 deficiency or stress ulcers. They occur as often as every two to three months and can be quite painful, affecting eating and speech as well. They should heal within three to six days. If not, then other diagnosis must be considered by an oral diagnostician. There is no definitive treatment. However, the discomfort can be minimized and healing can be faster by using topical anesthetic and antimicrobial gel before eating such as Mucopain gel (Benzocaine) and Metrogel (Metronidazole). If your ulcers are bigger than 4 mm to 5 mm or have associated fever or do not heal in two weeks or are getting bigger, then kindly contact your local dentist. Herpetic lesions have a different presentation and history. But if you have concerns, then you can go for an STD - sexually transmitted disease panel of investigations.

The Probable causes:

Citrus fruits like strawberries, pineapples or lime, etc., or nutritional deficiency or vitamin B12, folate or zinc deficiency.

Probable diagnosis:

Aphthous ulcers.

Treatment plan:

1. Mucopain gel (Anesthetic gel).

2. Chlorhexidine gel like Hexigel.

Preventive measures:

Avoid allergic food. Try to identify precipitating factor. Eat healthy balanced diet with fruits and vegetables. Follow meditation to lead a stress free life.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult a dentist online.--->

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