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When to See a Doctor for Cold Sores: Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Cold sores are common; thus, many patients often avoid going to the doctor for long periods. It is only when the problem is beyond handling that a dentist is consulted. But why should you bear the pain?

Also, many patients don’t know what these painful blisters are and whom they should consult- a dentist or a general physician. 

This blog talks about cold sores, warning signs to watch out for, and cold sores therapy. Read on.

What are Cold Sores?

Cold sores are painful blisters on the lips and around the mouth. They are commonly termed as herpes simplex labialis or fever blisters.

They are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus. When cold sores appear for the first time, they are severe. They don’t affect an adult’s health much, but children can experience fever.

How frequently cold sores appear also depends on your immune system. If your body can fight the virus, cold sores won’t occur often, but if they do, cold sore therapy is suggested.

Warning Signs for Cold Sores

When you get infected with the Herpes Simplex virus, cold sores don’t appear immediately. Instead, you will feel itching, tingling, and burning, and small blisters will appear.

Cold sores more commonly infect children, and their symptoms are severe the first time. 

You will learn about the symptoms for both children and adults here.

Cold Sores Warning Signs in Children

  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Swollen glands
  • More salivation
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Itching, burning, and tingling in and around the mouth.
  • Appearance of small blisters in and around the mouth.

Cold Sores Warning Signs in Adults

Adults experience the same symptoms as kids but they are not as severe. Here are some of the symptoms of cold sores for adults.

  • Swollen glands
  • Bad breath
  • Mouth ulcers

What Do Cold Sores Look Like?

Cold Sores are painful open blisters. They are filled with fluid. They are extremely painful, and scratching them might be a bad idea. They can last for as long as 14 days. The blisters fill with fluid slowly, then they break open, the fluid is emptied, and a scab develops on the mouth of the sores. The scab falls with time.

Cold sores are not only painful, but they also affect one’s appearance. Kids under age five usually catch the virus and are more prone to cold sores.

How Does Herpes Simplex Virus Spread?

In kids, the HSV-1 virus is spread from adults already infected. If any adult in the household has cold sores, ensure that kids don’t kiss them or share their utensils or other items.

Adults also catch the virus from kissing, or close contact with an infected person’s mouth.

How To Deal with Cold Sores After Witnessing the Warning Signs?

Once you are infected with the virus, you have prescribed medication that helps fight the virus, but it does not kill the bacteria once and for all. There are multiple types of herpes simplex virus, but HSV-1 is the most common. 

To fight cold sores, cold sore therapy is recommended.

Cold sore therapy is a laser treatment that stops the progression of cold sores. When a tingling or itching sensation starts, you must visit the nearest family dentistry in Chandler. 

It involves killing the virus with a low-power laser to stop the progression of cold sores. The laser penetrates the soft tissue and kills the virus, refraining cold sores from appearing. 

But it should be understood that the treatment can only reduce the healing time once cold sores have appeared. Also, there is no sure shot medication in the market to end the HSV-1 virus. The medications available in the market merely reduce the healing time, instead of treating the root cause.

But a soft tissue laser treatment kills cold sores instantly and also controls the frequency of the appearance of cold sores. Thus, it is considered an effective treatment for the problem.

Cold Sore Therapy in Chandler, AZ

If you are suffering from cold sores and looking for reliable dentistry in Chandler, AZ, Peace of Mind Dental Studio is what you need.

While there are many dentists around, what sets us apart is that we value patient comfort. With an onboard licensed therapist, Elissa Silverman, we offer our patients the ultimate comfort they need.

Cold Sore Therapy is one of our treatments that allows our patients to smile without pain. The entire treatment only takes 5-10 minutes. You have a dentist and a dental assistant during the procedure who help you settle down and undergo treatment without any anxiety or discomfort. The low-power laser is slowly moved around the lips and mouth, penetrating the soft tissue and killing the virus, stopping cold sores from breaking out.

For more information, you can visit our website or contact us anytime! 

Written by Dr. Silverman

Dr. Silverman is the co-founder of Peace of Mind Dental, a Chandler Arizona, general dentistry practice.