Cold sores are caused by a virus called Herpes simplex and can be found in and around the mouth, eyes, nail beds and almost anywhere on the body that is covered with skin cells.
The virus lies dormant with in nerves and when activated by sun, cold weather, general un-wellness or stress will re-activate. It will present as a wet, weeping blister on the affected regions, as demonstrated left on the lip.
Cold sores are very contagious and therefore direct contact such as kissing, sharing cups, glasses, cutlery, should be avoided at all times, until the blister has completely resolved and no signs can be seen on the affected area.
It is also wise to change your toothbrush as they can be the perfect place for the virus to live and hence raise the risk of triggering a new outbreak.
Patients are always advised to cancel any upcoming dental appointments whilst they have a cold sore as dental treatment can create an aerosol spray that can cause the virus to spread thus re infecting the patient.
Medicaments such as Zovirax (Aciclovir 5%) as soon as the affected area is tingling at 4 hourly intervals can be used to reduce the duration of the blister.
If you would like any further details then please contact us.
Emma Williams -Dental Therapist.