How are cold sores related to oral herpes?
When you notice a small blister that is filled with puss on your lips, nostrils, or the oral cavity lining, do you know it’s a cold sore or do you think it might be something else? As you’re staring at it, do you automatically know what caused it? Do you know how to treat it?
Cold sores are very common as is the oral condition they are associated with. In fact, approximately 50-80 percent of adults in the United States are affected by cold sores as a result of oral herpes. Basically, those people who have oral herpes, are extremely vulnerable to cold sores.
But there is more to this. Cold sores are one of the major symptoms of the disease referred to as herpes simplex type 1. There is also another type of disease known as herpes simplex type 2. Regardless of the type, herpes patients are at risk of getting cold sores.
How are cold sores caused?
The primary reason that cold sores develop is the herpes virus. These painful, itchy blisters dot’ directly appear once this virus enters the body. This virus can be dormant until the body has a significant change. Examples of this type of change could be injury or muscle fatigue. Upon their occurrence, the dormant virus is “activated”. This is when a cold sore can appear.
What is the difference between canker sores and cold sores?
If you have always been a bit confused about whether you had a canker sore of a cold sore, you are not alone. It can be tricky to tell them apart initially. And, since both are capable of lasting only a week or two, sometimes its’ easy to dismiss a cold sore as a canker sore once it starts to disappear.
But, being a symptom of a disease, cold sores are distinctive and it’s important to understand how to distinguish them from canker sores so they can be diagnosed and treated correctly.
Here are the primary differences between a canker sore and a cold sore.
A cold sore is typically joined by other conditions like a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and swollen lips. Other conditions that are known to also be associated with cold sores include headache, nausea, high fever or dehydration.
Canker sores aren’t as large as cold sores.
Cold sores have puss, canker sores don’t.
An outbreak of cold sores is contagious.
How do you know if your cold sore is a symptom of the herpes virus?
The first time you get a cold sore, you should visit your doctor to find out if it’s symptomatic of herpes. There are two ways your doctor can make that determination. A blood test can be conducted which can identify if you have herpes.
Another means of deterring if herpes is the cause of the cold sore is conducting a culture test. This is done by scaping the blister and testing the fluid that is inside it.
For more information about cold sores and oral health, contact Paul Mansky Dental today! We are located in Troy, Michigan and can be reached at (248) 689-5508 and we hope to hear from you soon!