What Can Cause Cold Sores to Form Near the Mouth?


Cold sores, those unsightly blisters that can pop up around your lips, are more than a cosmetic concern. These irritating sores can be painful, especially when eating, and can be a source of self-consciousness for many. At Elegant Smiles in Las Vegas, NV, we understand the discomfort and inconvenience that cold sores on the lips can cause. Thankfully, there are remedies and preventive measures we can recommend.

What causes cold sores to form near the mouth?

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Two strains of this virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2, can cause cold sores, but it's usually HSV-1 that leads to the blisters we see near the mouth. A person can get infected with the virus through close personal contact, such as kissing someone with a cold sore or sharing items like towels or razors with someone carrying the virus. Once infected, the virus remains in the body, lying dormant, and can reactivate, causing recurrent cold sores on the lips or other areas.

Can a dentist treat cold sores?

Absolutely! While cold sores often clear up on their own within a week, a dentist can offer treatments to reduce the severity and duration of the sores. At Elegant Smiles, we use laser therapy, an innovative technique that can help reduce pain and speed up the healing process. When a cold sore begins to form, the affected area can be treated using a specific wavelength of light from a dental laser. Laser therapy is best performed when the cold sore is at the tingly stage. The light targets and penetrates the sore, stimulating the body's natural healing processes. The laser's energy can effectively reduce the virus causing the cold sore, thereby reducing pain, accelerating the healing process, and decreasing the duration of the outbreak. Additionally, with early intervention, laser treatment can often prevent the cold sore from fully developing. It's a noninvasive procedure that's gaining popularity for its quick and efficient results. The treatment is painless and only takes about ten minutes to complete. After 2 – 3 laser sessions, the cold sore is unlikely to reoccur in that spot again.

Our team also can recommend antiviral medications or creams that can help to control the outbreaks and alleviate the symptoms.

What can be done to prevent cold sores?

While understanding the origins and treatments for cold sores is crucial, it's equally important to delve into proactive measures. Prevention, as the adage goes, is better than cure. If you've ever experienced the discomfort of a cold sore, you'll appreciate the significance of preventive tactics. Let's explore some practical strategies to minimize the risk of cold sores near the mouth and ensure they remain a rare inconvenience rather than a frequent annoyance.

  • Avoid close contact with people who have active cold sores
  • Do not share personal items like lip balm, towels, or razors with someone who has an outbreak
  • Use a lip balm with SPF to protect your lips from the sun, as sunburn can trigger an outbreak in some people
  • Manage stress because anxiety levels can weaken the immune system and lead to a cold sore
  • Boost your immune system by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep

Keeping your lips healthy

Understanding what causes cold sores to form near the mouth is the first step toward prevention. By being proactive and knowledgeable, you can reduce the chances of an outbreak and manage the symptoms more effectively if they do appear.

Your smile matters to us

Cold sores might seem like a small problem, but they can greatly impact your confidence and comfort. At Elegant Smiles in Las Vegas, NV, we're dedicated to ensuring that every part of your mouth, from your teeth to your lips, is in the best possible health. Contact us for a consultation, and let us help you maintain a healthy, radiant smile.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.