Dealing with Cold Sores

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The mouth can be the site for many different bumps, lesions, and sores, and the cold sore is one of the more obnoxious.  Should you or your family members become afflicted with one, our Federal Way Dentistry advises that you take the following precautions in order to expedite recovery, minimize pain, and keep the virus from spreading:

  • Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus, and therefore cannot simply be cured.  However, there are over-the-counter drugs that can be very effective in reducing the pain of the sores, reducing cracking, and speeding up the healing process.

  • Cold sores can be aggravated by a bacterial infection, so keep the area clean.  You can wash a sore gently with soap and water as needed.

  • Apply a sunscreen to your face and lips if you are to experience any prolonged exposure to the sun.

  • Don’t spread the virus to others!  Wash your hands after touching a sore, don’t kiss anyone, and don’t share utensils, drinks, or anything else that comes into contact with your mouth.

  • Also, remember that you can spread the virus to other parts of your own body.  Particularly vulnerable areas include your eyes and genitals.  Wash your hands before touching other parts of your body, or you could develop blindness or genital herpes.

  • Replace your toothbrush, and don’t let your infected brush mingle with other people’s brushes.

Remember that your sores will remain contagious until they crust over completely.  Cold sores generally heal by themselves within seven or ten days.

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