If you are someone prone to getting cold sores, also known as fever blisters, you know that they almost always occur at inopportune times. They develop on or along the border of the lips and seem to pop up just before you have a presentation at work or before a dinner out with friends, or before a family vacation. This is because, in addition to being caused by exposure to sun and wind, by a cold, or by a weakened immune system, they can also be brought on by stress. Unfortunately, not only are they sometimes painful and almost always unattractive (as they often appear as fluid filled blisters which then burst and crust over), but they are also contagious.
Is it possible to guard against them reoccurring? Yes and no. Cold sores are caused by a virus, which lies dormant until triggered by any of those things mentioned above. But you can strengthen your immune system by increasing your intake of Vitamin B, zinc and iron.
How long do the sores take to heal? Most often, they heal on their own within a few weeks. There are some over-the-counter and prescription strength creams and ointments that can lessen your discomfort and speed the healing process. But a dental laser will, undoubtedly, provide the fastest resolution of a cold sore. The laser looks like a small wand with a tip that is moved in a circular motion above the sore for a few minutes. There is no contact with the sore, and you do not feel any pain during the procedure. Therefore, there is no need for anesthesia. The laser works by disinfecting the area, killing the virus and sealing the nerve endings. These all combine to expedite the healing process and quickly diminish any discomfort caused by the sore.
You can also choose to be proactive and treat a potential sore even before it manifests on your lip. As soon as you feel a tingling sensation and can tell that you are about to develop a sore, go ahead and schedule a dental visit to have the area treated so that it does not manifest as a full blown lesion. It has also been shown that laser treatment for cold sores can decrease the likelihood that you will have a sore reoccur in the same area.
So let us help you manage your cold sores better and minimize interruptions in your daily routine.