Did you know that a common cold sore trigger is going to see the dentist? In this article, I’m going to explain why getting a cavity filled or other dental procedures can lead to a cold sore outbreak.
If my memory serves me correctly, I know I had at least two cold sore outbreaks in my life that occurred within 24 hours of going to see my dentist.
After the second time this happened, I knew there had to be a link and that it was not mere coincidence.
Thus, I did some research and found out that getting worked on by a dentist can trigger cold sores.
I’ll explain this phenomenon in a minute, after a brief overview of cold sores…
Herpes Simplex Virus
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are groups of small blisters that form on or near the lips. Cold sores are a result of something called herpes simplex virus (HSV).
There are two types of HSV, and both can cause cold sores. HSV-1 typically is responsible for cold sores, and HSV-2 is most often the cause of genital herpes.
However, both types of HSV can cause cold sores or genital herpes.
After primary infection, the virus resides in the associated dorsal root ganglion (cluster of nerve cells) where it lies dormant until an external stimuli (such as stress or immunosuppression) initiate reactivation of the virus from dormancy.
The virus lives on forever, and that’s why people continue to get cold sores over and over again.
Why Dental Procedures Can Trigger Cold Sores
Along with stress, immunosuppression, poor nutrition, and other triggers, one of the ways you can get a cold sore outbreak is from having “trauma” to the lips.
One day many years ago, I went to my dentist to get a cavity filled.
He had a new piece of equipment that he had never used on me before.
It was a dental dam.
The dental dam was pressed firmly against my lips and it rubbed them slightly. Within 24 hours of having this dental dam slightly agitating my lips in this manner, I had a cold sore forming.
Trauma to the lips in any form, be it a dental dam, a rough dentist, an elbow to the lip, or sunburned lips, can cause a cold sore outbreak.
There are just too many things that can trigger cold sores, and believe me when I say that I’ve experienced almost every trigger there is.
How To Prevent Cold Sores
Since there are so many cunning and baffling cold sore triggers, you really need to be aware of what all of them are so you can avoid them at all costs, and thus avoid cold sore outbreaks.
The key to cold sores is to prevent them from forming in the first place.
Thus, I encourage you to check out my Ultimate Guide to Preventing Cold Sores.
It’s free and has absolutely everything you need to know.
If you have any comments or questions on how seeing the dentist can trigger a cold sore, please post them in the comment box below.