If you’ve ever had a cold sore or canker sore, you understand how uncomfortable it can be. Aside from the physical pain and discomfort, they tend to pop up in the most inopportune moments due to stress or environmental factors, and the embarrassment can make you want to go into hibernation until it runs its course. With laser treatment at Advanced Aesthetic Dentistry, we can stop cold sores and canker sores in their tracks, drastically reduce healing time, and help you put your best face forward.
Cold sores, commonly referred to as fever blisters, are a painful infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Most commonly they erupt on the outside of the mouth and lips, but can also appear on the nose, cheeks, or fingers. Blisters form which then break and ooze, and scab over. Cold sores usually last anywhere from 7 to 10 days but can remain for a period of weeks if left untreated.
90% of the population will get at least one cold sore in their life, the first occurrence usually being the most severe. Cold sores usually affect children more-so than adults, as children can become seriously ill. After their first infection, most people will develop an antibody that prevents cold sores from reoccurring ever again. About 40% of American adults will have a reoccurrence.
Cold sores are generally more of a nuisance than a serious health concern, however, it is important to note that the infection can be life-threatening for those infected with HIV/AIDS, or other immune deficiencies. The infection can cause blindness if it spreads to the eye, or meningitis or encephalitis if allowed to spread to the brain.
Cold sores and canker sores are often confused, but they are not the same thing. Where cold sores are typically painful, fluid-filled blisters, caused by an infection and found outside the mouth, canker sores are typically caused by stress or injury and are found inside the mouth.
Canker sores are small, shallow sores or ulcers that can occur anywhere in or around the mouth. Canker sores are not only embarrassing but also painful and can make eating and talking uncomfortable. There are two types of canker sores – simple canker sores, and complex canker sores.
Simple canker sores may appear three or four times per year and last up to a week. Simple canker sores usually occur in people ages 10-20. Complex canker sores are less common and occur more often in those who have previously had canker sores.
The exact cause of most canker sores is still unknown, unfortunately. Simple canker sores can be triggered by stress or tissue injury. Certain acidic foods can trigger or make canker sores worse, including lemons, oranges, pineapples, and strawberries. Sometimes a sharp tooth or dental appliance can cause a canker sore.
Complex canker sores can also be caused by an underlying health condition, including a weak immune system, nutritional deficiencies, and gastrointestinal tract diseases like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.
If you’re suffering from a cold sore or canker sore, don’t let it get the best of you! Our laser treatment is painless and only takes 5-10 minutes to stop a sore in its tracks. Our diode laser treatment can provide immediate relief from pain and discomfort, stop the infection from progressing, and instantly begin the healing process to drastically reduce healing time.
Many of our patients find their cold or canker sores will have disappeared in a matter of days, rather than a few weeks had they left it untreated. Laser treatment can even help prevent sores from reoccurring in the future! Our diode laser can also be used to treat fever blisters, canker sores, bite trauma on the tongue and cheek, and painful burns of the mouth/lips.
So the question really isn’t ‘why should you get your cold sore treated,’ it’s ‘why wouldn’t you!?’
If you have any questions about laser cold sore and canker sore treatment or would like to schedule an appointment with your Denver dentist, Dr. Paini at Advanced Aesthetic Dentistry, please contact our Downtown Denver dental office today, or request an appointment online!