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Do you ever get blisters near your mouth? They may be cold sores or fever blisters, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2) and are very contagious. You may notice a tingling, tenderness or burning even before the actual sore appears. Cold sores start out as blisters and then crust over. They normally clear up without treatment in 2-4 weeks, but the virus can live in your body for years. Most people who are infected with the virus never show signs and symptoms. It only shows up as a mouth sore when it is triggered.

Common Triggers for Cold Sores

–Viral infection or fever
–Emotional Stress
–Exposure to sunlight and wind
–Weakened immune system
–Hormonal changes (for example, during menstruation)

Cold sores are most contagious when the blisters are oozing. However, you can transmit the virus even when you don’t have blisters. HSV-1 can be spread by sharing eating utensils, razors or towels, as well as kissing. Once you’ve had an episode of herpes infection, the virus lies dormant in nerve cells in your skin and may emerge as another cold sore at the same place as before.

You can turn to a dentist for help if you are afflicted with an oral herpes cold sore problem. Not only can a dentist diagnose cold sores herpes through a visual exam, but will also review your medical history, and prescribe medication to reduce cold sore outbreaks. The most common medication is an antiviral medication called acyclovir (Zovirax), which reduces how long you have the cold sores herpes. Zovirax can be found in cream or ointment form, and is applied to a herpes cold sore during any stage of an outbreak.

Your toothpaste can easily transmit the virus if you are not careful. If you accidentally touch it to the edge of the toothpaste tube, it can easily spread the virus to the next toothbrush that comes along to use it. Be sure to change your toothbrush after every herpes cold sore outbreak. To avoid spreading the virus, take extra care to wash your hands, especially after putting ointment on sores.

Your Dentist May Also Suggest:

–Reduce stress. Stress is one of the most common triggers of cold sores herpes. Try stress-reducing activities like meditation or yoga.
–Use UV protection with SPF15 or more.
–Boost your immunity with a multivitamin or extra Vitamin C.

Please don’t hesitate to call our team at 760.729.5964 for more information or if you need help treating a cold sore outbreak.