Having a cold sore may not be the worst thing that could ever happen to you, but they certainly aren’t any fun. Do you get cold sores? Did you know that your dentist can help them to go away more quickly? Read on for information about cold sores and how your dentist can help!
What are cold sores?
Cold sores (also called “fever blisters”) are very common. They occur on and around the lips, and are sometimes grouped together. They can start with a tingling or itching sensation, and then about a day later the blister will form. If the blisters break, there may be an open sore. A scab can form that lasts for a few days.
They can be caused by strains of the herpes simplex virus, and they can spread easily through kissing and sharing eating utensils, towels, and other household items. The herpes simplex virus can lie dormant in the body and cause occasional outbreaks of cold sores. These outbreaks might be triggered by stress, hormonal changes (such as menstruation), fatigue, fever or a viral infection, or even exposure to the sun. Typically, outbreaks happen in the same place each time, and the first outbreak tends to be the worst.
There is no cure for cold sores, but your doctor may prescribe an antiviral treatment, such as a pill or a cream, to help reduce the severity and frequency of cold sore outbreaks.
Cold sores are different from canker sores, which happen inside the mouth and aren’t caused by the herpes simplex virus.
How can your dentist help?
On their own, cold sores often take 2 to 3 weeks to heal completely – but the good news is that your dentist can help them to go away more quickly, thanks to diode laser treatment. The heat energy from the laser breaks the virus down, and the cold sore goes away within a couple of days instead of weeks. The process is painless and only takes about 2 minutes.
Cold sores are unsightly, annoying, and painful, but the staff at Pound Ridge Cosmetic Dentistry – and a diode laser treatment – can help. Call 914-764-3540 for an appointment today!