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Are canker sores herpes? Are they causing my bad breath?

By – Bad Breath Expert
Posted: June 27, 2012, Updated: February 17, 2014
SUMMARY: If you have small, painful blisters inside your mouth, does this mean you have the herpes virus?

are canker sores herpes

Occasionally, you may find that you have little white spots inside your mouth, and that spicy meals and alcohol-based mouthwashes make your cheeks and gums hurt like Hades. These spots are canker sores. But wait, are canker sores herpes?

The simple answer is, no, they aren't. Canker sores, which are also known as aphthous ulcers aren't even caused by a virus. Instead, they stem from mild bacterial infections, which is why they can make your mouth give off such a foul-smelling odor.

The differences between canker sores and cold sores

Don't worry if little white spots on your gums made you ask, Are canker sores herpes? It's a common misconception, one that lingers primarily because people are terrified of getting oral herpes, the STD.

But let's clear up a few things. First, canker sores occur inside the mouth, while cold sores, or "fever blisters," invariably pop up on the outside, usually around the mouth and nose.

Second, canker sores are bacterial in origin, which is why they can cause halitosis. (Viruses, which cause cold sores, have no metabolism.)

And third, a cold sore isn't always that kind of herpes

Fever blisters are not always a sign of an STD. In fact, the herpes simplex virus (HSV) comes in two separate strains. HSV-1 causes most cold sores. The majority of people get it, usually from kissing, and it lies dormant much of the time, occasionally causing cold sores. HSV-2, on the other hand, is the nasty virus responsible for genital herpes.

If you are truly concerned about oral STDs, get tested as soon as possible.

And if you suspect that your canker sores (those white spots on your gums) are causing your oral odor, invest in an alcohol-free specialty breath freshener.

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