What Are Cold Sores and How Can You Get Rid of Them?

Woman holding her lip with a cold sore outbreak


What are Cold Sores?

Cold sores are painful blisters that erupt on the lips, inside the mouth, tongue, cheeks, or the chin. These usually persist for about two weeks but may even last longer.

SYMPTOMS OF COLD SORES

Before a cold sore appears, you will experience an unusual tingling, burning, or itching sensation around the affected area. This may be around the corner of the mouth, lip, or even the nose and occurs 12-24 hours before the appearance of a blister.

The appearance of a cold sore may also be accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches, and nausea.

Laser Therapy Treatment for Cold Sores

One of the most recent advances for cold sore treatment is laser therapy. If you are experiencing frequent outbreaks and can recognize the tingling sensation that precedes an outbreak, laser therapy may just be the solution for you.

How does Laser Treatment for Cold Sores Work?

Laser treatment works by shining a laser over the cold sore to kill the virus that causes the outbreak. The laser does not touch the lesion, so no anesthetic is needed.

Benefits of Laser Treatment for Cold Sores

The lesion may not erupt if treated early, but if the sore has already broken, laser treatment can relieve pain and accelerate healing.

  • Fast Healing
  • Alleviates Pain
  • Reduces Outbreaks
  • Takes Only 15 Minutes

How quickly can I get in for treatment?

Because treatment time is so quick, we can usually work you into our schedule on short notice.

Ready to schedule your laser cold sore treatment appointment?

Contact Periodontal & Implant Specialists of Madison at our West Clinic 608-203-7023 or East Clinic 608-443-1778 as soon as you feel tingling or sense you are developing a cold or canker sore.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

This month is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and at Dental Health Associates, we are committed to getting the word out and checking all of our patients as part of a regular dental visit. Early detection is important for treating oral cancer, and your dentist can help.

WHAT IS ORAL CANCER AND WHO IS AT RISK?

Oral cancer is cancer that develops in any part of the mouth, lips, or the back part of the throat (oropharynx). Each year, an estimated 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. In addition, oral cancer kills more Americans than cervical cancer, malignant melanoma or Hodgkin’s disease.
While anyone can develop cancer at any age, those at highest risk for developing oral cancer fall into these categories:

  • Over 40 years old
  • Use tobacco products – including cigarettes and chewing tobacco
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Combine alcohol and tobacco – these create a greater risk combined than by using either one alone
  • A family history of oral cancer
  • Extensive sun exposure, which increases the likeliness of developing lip cancer
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CANCER
  • White or red patches in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loose teeth
  • Numbness of lower lip
  • Problems moving the jaw or tongue
  • A consistent feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • A sore, irritation, or lump in the mouth, lip, or throat

Your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening by examining your throat, the inside of your cheeks and lips, and the roof of your mouth at a regular dental cleaning and evaluation visit. However, if you have noticed any of these symptoms alone or in any combination, reach out to your dentist and primary care doctor as soon as possible. It’s better to eliminate the more serious possibilities early in order to get to the root cause behind your symptoms. Additionally, it’s much better to rule out cancer as a possibility or treat it quickly if it’s discovered.

DON’T WAIT IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS

Early detection is vital. One of the reasons oral cancer has a low (5-year) survival rate when compared to other major cancers is because many cancerous lesions are not diagnosed until they are in an advanced stage. However, if detected early, the survival rate for oral cancer is better than that of most cancers.

To perform a self-screening or learn more about potential symptoms, the Oral Cancer Foundation has created a website called CheckYourMouth.org.

For more information about Oral Cancer Awareness Month, visit the Oral Cancer Foundation.

About Dental Health Associates

At Dental Health Associates of Madison we are here to support you and your overall health and we create a personalized treatment plan for each and every patient. All of our dentists and staff will always be open and honest with you about your dental health, with a focus on preventative treatments and patient education. We’d love to schedule an appointment for you today!

Spring Cleaning for a Healthy Smile

Dental Spring Cleaning Man Smiling

March has arrived, which means that spring is just around the corner! For most of us, this time of the year is when we celebrate the end of winter by opening our windows, cleaning our houses, and getting out and enjoying some fresh air. But as we focus on fresh air and spring cleaning, how many of us think about our cleaning our teeth and ways we can ensure a healthy happy smile?

Even if you are dedicated to brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, you still should add dental cleaning to your spring routine. Visiting your dentist regularly can improve not only your oral health and your smile, but it can also significantly improve your long-term health.

What is the importance of dental cleaning appointments?

Routine Cleanings Make a Difference! We recommend dental cleanings every six months to remove plaque and tarter from your teeth, which can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing.  Your dental hygienist or dentist will use special tools to safely remove the buildup that accumulates overtime by scaling and polishing your teeth. Without these routine cleanings, the plaque and tartar can buildup on your teeth and can cause cavities, decay, inflammation in the gums, and gum disease.

Dental cleanings are very important to your overall health and can prevent dental decay or disease. They are also an opportunity for your dentist to examine your teeth and gums and identify any other issues that may have gone undetected.


Benefits of Routine Cleanings

  • Regular dental cleanings allow you to get rid of disease-causing bacteria.
  • They can reverse early symptoms of gum diseases and prevent complications such as tooth loss.
  • It gives your dental hygienist and dentist a chance to examine your mouth at regular intervals. This facilitates early detection of dental decay or gum disease.
  • Prevents dental decay or gum disease progression, which can save you money as it decreases the chances that you will need future procedures or treatments.
  • Regular teeth cleaning keeps your teeth looking bright and gums healthy.
  • It prevents bad breath.
  • Boosts your overall health.

As you get your spring-cleaning checklist ready, make sure to think about yourself and ways you can keep your smile bright. So, please make the most of this season by scheduling a routine dental cleaning to ensure that you can maintain good oral and overall health. Our team of excellent dental professionals is here to assist you in your journey to a beautiful and healthy smile. If you have any more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out to us.