Cold sores are a common condition especially during the cold season. In fact, 1 in every 4 people has recurring cold sores!
They are usually characterized by small blisters on the border of your lip, which may be confused with canker sores.
If you happen to have cold sores and you’re wondering if you could still go on with your scheduled dentist appointment, we suggest you give us a call first. It is much preferable if you let the cold sore heal before an appointment.
Don’t worry it shouldn’t take more than 10 days! We’re happy to reschedule your appointment then. Keep us posted!
Beat Cold Sores, Now!
If you’re a cold sores sufferer, a tingling feeling on your lip usually means one thing: a new set of cold sores is about to erupt. Cold sores are generally caused by herpes simplex virus 1, which is extremely common. Cold sores on the lips are usually spread through skin-to-skin contact.
Cold sores are uncomfortable and unsightly. And while they typically clear up in a couple of weeks, in the meantime sufferers endure red, oozing, and crusting blisters around their mouths.
Once you get the cold sore virus, it is with you forever. The virus sits dormant in your body until a trigger —among others, stress, illness, or hormonal changes — causes it to reappear on the surface of your lips.
The best way to avoid an outbreak is to avoid exposure to certain triggers. The best way to treat an outbreak is to respond early. If you already have a cold sore, Mayfield Dental Care has you covered. Finally, it is also important to know how to avoid transmission of the virus.
Follow the tips below to avoid and deal with cold sores.
Keep the barriers up
Sunshine is often a trigger for cold sores, so use sunblock and a layer of moisturising balm to ward off UV rays during the summer to keep your lips in top condition.
Also, avoid any personal triggers, which might include:
- Cold weather.
- Decreased immune response (caused by chemotherapy, AIDS, etc.)
- Dental trauma
Treatments that can head cold sores off
Commonly prescribed treatments for cold sores include anti-viral tablets and creams. Creams are usually only effective if applied when the sores first appear, and all the medicines are more effective if applied before the cold sores themselves appear.
Prescribed cold sore medications include:
- Acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax)
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
- Famciclovir (Famvir)
- Penciclovir (Denavir)
Other approaches include:
- Creams with lidocaine or benzocaine may provide relief.
- Ice does not shorten the duration of a breakout, but it can soothe the pain and inflammation of cold sores. Apply a cold compress directly on the sores for temporary relief, but never apply ice directly.
- OTC pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) and give relief.
Natural treatment of cold sores is varied:
- Hydrogen peroxide has antiseptic and antiviral properties that can help reduce inflammation and fight the viral infection causing the cold sore.
- Witch hazel. A 1996 study found witch hazel may fight herpes and reduce inflammation.
- L-lysine. Amino acid L-lysine may help shorten the duration of a fever blister.
- Zinc therapy. Zinc can help wounds heal, and topical zinc may help deal with fever blisters.
- Try echinacea. Echinacea tea is believed to strengthen your immune system, thereby supporting your body’s immune response as it fights the cold sore virus.
- Aloe vera gel can aid in soothing the skin when a cold sore breaks out. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful.
These natural approaches have not been studied as much as medicines, so do your research and discover which ones work for you.
How to avoid spreading cold sores
Here’s how you can avoid spreading cold sores to others:
- Don’t pucker up. Kissing is the most common way to transmit the virus that causes cold sores.
- Don’t share. If it goes in your mouth, don’t share it. You can easily pass on your cold sores by sharing food, eating utensils, drinking straws, cups, and glasses. That goes for lip balm or lipstick, toothbrushes, and razors as well. Even things that you don’t think of can pass the virus. Towels and pillowcases, for instance, come into contact with the lips and saliva, so they can pass the disease.
- Don’t touch. We touch our faces without even thinking about it. But, each time you touch a cold sore with your hands, you have the potential to spread the virus to a keyboard, the phone, even a doorknob. During an outbreak, try not to touch your face and wash your hands regularly.
- Use hot water. Wash any items you use in boiling hot water to kill the virus.
- Replace your toothbrush when you get a cold sore to prevent reinfection, and replace it again after the sore has healed. This approach should go for any personal hygiene device you have put in your mouth during the outbreak.
Making a Better Dental Future at Mayfield Dental Care
Mayfield Dental Care provides excellence in dentistry with the slogan, “Customer satisfaction must be our top most priority”. Our guiding principles are innovation, culture and care. Our equipment is cutting-edge, and our outlook is forward-looking to provide you with the best dental experience you have ever had.
Our Dental Clinic is conveniently located in Mayfield, on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Hanbury St. Public transportation is nearby.
Mayfield Dental Care has world-class dental and orthodontic specialists, cutting-edge technology, caring support staff who are extremely experienced in the field, and a comfortable and welcoming environment.
New Patients Promotions
- Pay No Gap: No Gap for dental checkup, clean, fluoride & 2 x-rays (with any health insurance)
- No Health Insurance: Only $145 ($95 for kids) for Checkup, Clean & Fluoride
Call us on (02) 4023 3885 or visit us at 181 Maitland Rd in Mayfield.