When you are a teenager, cold sores are annoying. They hang around the corner of your mouth and prevent you from getting close to someone. Cold sores are caused by a virus. If you are prone to cold sores, there are things you need to know about the role that cold sores play in your overall oral health. Let us give you some information about cold sores.
What Are Cold Sores?
Cold sores are actually related to the virus that causes both herpes and chicken pox. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. You get the virus directly from other people through their saliva- which can be kissing or through drinking from the same cup. More than 80% of the population has the virus HSV-1 in their bodies by the time they reach adulthood, and most people are infected with the virus before age 10. The initial illness appears like blisters, usually on the corner of your mouth.
What Causes a Breakout?
The virus can be dormant for years. Stress can lead to an outbreak, as well as dental treatment or illness. Sun exposure can also lead to a breakout.
Are They Dangerous?
If you are immunocompromised, cold sores can be a problem. If you have a cold sore you will need to be careful with your oral health. You will also need to let us know if you have a cold sore or if you feel that one is coming, because we need to protect ourselves and you. If you have the virus in your body, you need to know that cold sores don’t affect your overall oral health. It is even more important to maintain good dental hygiene with cold sores. Also, if you do have a cold sore, you may need to change to an alcohol-free mouthwash until your cold sore heals.
If you think your cold sores are getting worse, or you are having symptoms you don’t normally have with your cold sores, why not give us a call? We can help you treat your cold sore, and give you tips on how to treat them effectively.