Combat Cold Sores This Winter

With winter right around the corner, cold sores are bound to appear and Artistic Touch Dentist wants to help you treat these right away so they don’t cause you any more pain. Colgate wrote that, “cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), a virus that passes from person to person by direct contact with infected skin or secretions, including saliva. Cold sores usually appear as clusters of tiny blisters on the lip, and some can occur in the mouth or on the gums.”

There are some symptoms of this infection the first time you are infected, such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Painful swelling
  • Open sores on the gums and inside the cheeks
  • Painful throat infection

These symptoms usually begin within one week after exposure to the infection. “Cold sores and fever blisters appear when the virus is reactivated later in life. They may occur after a period of illness or stress, poor nutrition or sunlight exposure, or for no known reason. Dental procedures that stretch the lip may occasionally trigger the virus to become active. Your dentist or physician usually can diagnose cold sores and fever blisters by asking you about your medical history and simply examining the affected area of skin,” Colgate explained.

This infection can last for one to two weeks and the cold sores will heal within 8 to 10 days. You can treat cold sores with antiviral medications; however, they are of little help if the sores have already started to appear. “Antiviral drugs taken by mouth can help to prevent cold sores in tropical locations where exposure to the sun can trigger an outbreak. Wind and other weather conditions also can trigger cold sores if your lips become too dry. It also helps to keep the affected area clean and to apply soothing lip balm if the lips are involved,” Colgate reported.

If you have any questions about cold sores or how to have great dental hygiene then contact our dentists at Artistic Touch Dentistry today!