Pasadena Texas General Dentist talks about Cold Sores:
Cold sores (fever blisters) are found outside the mouth, usually on the lips but may appear on the chin, outside of the cheek or the nostrils. They begin as a red blister, burst and crust over. The cycle takes 7-14 days to heal. Cold sores, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus, are contagious, being transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. The virus is dormant most of the time and is carried by almost everyone. Fever blisters occur most often in young adults and adolescents and decline in people over 35 years of age. Certain factors activate its outbreak, particularly stress, colds, fevers and/or sunburn.
To reduce occurrences, avoid kissing when the blisters are visible; don’t squeeze or scrape the blister; wash your hands thoroughly before touching someone else; and use UV sunscreen on your lips before spending time in the sun.
Treatment of cold sores includes avoiding spicy and hot foods that will irritate them, application of phenol-containing over-the-counter ointments and administration of some anti-viral antibiotics that will shorten their duration but not prevent their outbreak.
Cold sores begin as small red circular swellings that usually ulcerate [rupture] within a day, after which they become white, surrounded by reddish inflammation. They last 8-10 days. As open sores, they can be very painful to the touch. Cold sores afflict about 20% of the population. Their cause has yet to be discovered, although they appear to breakout more in stressful situations, from getting a small “nick” in the skin [mucous membrane] or from foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes. While they can occur in very young children, they are usually first seen between the ages of 10-20. It’s not uncommon for them to erupt 3-4 times a year, but they occur less frequently or stop all together in adults.
When experiencing canker sores, avoid rough textured or spicy foods that will irritate them. Try not to touch them with eating utensils or your toothbrush. Apply ointment that contains a topical anesthetic or some other active ingredient that will relieve the irritation.
Cold Sore Treatment:
With an advanced dental laser, Dr. Nugent can “zap” the cold sore. The laser energy deactivates the virus. When you feel the itching and burning of an upcoming cold sore call our office ASAP!! We will get you in and Dr. Nugent can use a laser to prevent the cold sore from developing. If you have an active cold sore we can still help. The laser will deactivate the virus and you will begin the healing stage. Don’t live with embarrassing cold sores.
Come see how great dentistry can be. Visit our office at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas 77504.
Or call us at 713-941-8261. We see patients from Pasadena, Deer Park and the surrounding areas.