Have you ever arrived for your dental appointment and upon examination, your dental professional tells you your dental treatment will need to be moved to a later time due to having a cold sore? You are probably wondering why.
First let’s explain what a cold sore actually is. It is a raised, fluid-filled, sometimes painful, bubble-like sore, most commonly found in the lip region. It is made up of the very contagious Herpes Simplex virus and it lasts approximately a week. The virus is obtained during childhood and early adulthood.
Because the virus is very contagious, your dental professional will recommend rescheduling your dental appointment to a week or so later until completely healed. When there is an active cold sore present (even if there is just a scab left the virus is still remaining), there is a risk of the dental professional bursting the sore or breaking open the scab, letting the virus out and to possibly spread on the patient or clinician.
Best course of action? If you feel a cold sore coming on and it’s nearing your appointment, best to call your dental office and reschedule until the sore is completely healed. It is also best not to touch the active sore in order to avoid spreading it to other areas of the body or to other people.
If you have any questions about cold sores and dental treatment, please speak to your dental professional.