Cold Sores: What’s The Solution?

If you are like 80% of the population, you have probably been exposed to the virus that causes cold sores.

Cold Sores Affect Majority Of People

However, you might never have had an outbreak, and you may never show symptoms depending on your particular immune system. It’s a very common oral virus; there are a number of treatment options available that can be easily administered to prevent the condition from worsening and spreading to other parts of the body.

A large portion of the population carries the Herpes Simplex Virus, whether or not they actually have symptoms. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, can be extremely painful and make going to the dentist very difficult. It’s best to wait until the outbreak has cleared before you attempt to visit your family dentist. They can provide suggestions for different ointments to alleviate pain and shorten the active outbreak period for cold sores.

Tingling or numbness on the lips or around the mouth usually precedes these blisters. They can last anywhere from a few days to a week, depending on the severity of the outbreak. They are contagious, and anyone with an active cold sore should take precautions so that it doesn’t worsen or spread. Oral sores can manifest inside the mouth as well. If you notice unusual blisters appearing on your lips, tongue, or gums, visit a dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause. Some common factors that contribute to an outbreak are:

  • Exposure to the sun
  • Caffeine or alcohol
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Illness and fever
  • If you learn to identify your particular triggers, you can take preventative measures that will make outbreaks much less common. Ice and limp balms can sooth the affected areas. There are also medications your doctor can prescribe if you suffer from severe and frequent outbreaks. Otherwise, ointments can abbreviate the healing time and provide significant pain relief.

    Because cold sores are spread via skin-to-skin contact, it helps to exercise extreme caution during an active outbreak. Refrain from touching your eyes or other parts of your face if you haven’t washed your hands.

    For more information about cold sores and fever blisters, contact your local family dentist.

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