Canker sores occur only inside the mouth – on the insides of the cheeks and lips, on the tongue, and on the throat. Fever blisters, on the other hand, occur mainly on the outside area of the mouth – on the lips, chin, nostrils, and cheeks. They may also develop inside the mouth, specifically on the tongue, roof of the mouth, and gums. Inside the mouth, these fever blisters appear smaller compared to canker sores and heal faster. They take on the initial appearance of raised skin containing fluid that burst later on to become sores, in contrast to canker sores that immediately manifest as bigger shallow ulcers.
Tongue blisters and other forms of fever blisters are caused by type 1 of the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). These blisters, like other HSV-1 infections, have a more severe and longer initial outbreak compared to recurrent infections. The first outbreak of herpes more often occurs during childhood, especially between 6 months and three years old. The blisters form inside the mouth, specifically on the tongue, gums, and throat. This outbreak is called gingivostomatitis. In children, the blisters are accompanied by swollen lymph nodes, fever, and difficulty in swallowing. The symptoms of fever blisters usually remain for about a week and are self-limited, meaning they get healed on their own.
Once you contract the virus, it stays within your system. It cannot be eliminated. The virus only gets reactivated by certain factors such as allergies, sun exposure, stress, respiratory illnesses, menstruation, and trauma to the skin.
While the herpes simplex virus cannot be eliminated, there are several treatments available that will aid in pain relief and ease the discomfort associated with the blisters. Here are some tips:
- Use OTC ointments, creams, and lip balms to prevent drying and to soften the crusts of the blisters.
- Keep the blisters clean and dry in order to minimize the risk of further infection.
- Have a diet that consists of soft food that can be easily swallowed. Avoid eating or drinking acidic food and drinks that would irritate the blisters and sores and aggravate them.
- Refrain from kissing others in order to prevent the virus from spreading. Also, do not touch your blisters since the virus is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
- Try to reduce the stress in your life. Find time for some rest and relaxation.
- Apply some zinc cream directly to the blisters in order to help reduce the symptoms and prevent recurrent infections.
- Eat a diet that is low in arginine and high in lysine. Arginine is a protein that the herpes simplex virus needs in order to replicate. It has been found that if lysine is increased in relation to arginine, the formation of blisters is reduced. Avoid chocolates, nuts, seeds, and grains. Instead, eat more dairy products, legumes, fish, meat, and wheat germ.
If you want to get rid of tongue blisters, you probably need to change your toothbrush and your toothpaste with a professional one: