That’s right, fever blisters, canker sores, and lip ties have one thing in common; they can be fixed by the treatment of our carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser).
What Is a Carbon Dioxide Laser?
The CO2 laser is one of the first gas lasers to be invented. It was invented in 1964 and to this day is used with great success in surgical procedures. This laser emits a beam of light at an infrared frequency and is the best laser for soft tissue procedures there is. Regular surgeries with scalpels cut and can brush tissue, whereas the laser basically evaporates the tissue resulting in a cleaner and easier recovery.
About Fever Blisters
Fever blisters are also commonly referred to as cold sores and are the result of a virus. The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) is unfortunately common, most people are exposed for the first time as children between the ages of 1 year and 5 years old. The virus can spread through skin-to-skin contact, contact with saliva, or even contact with an object that was previously handled by someone with the virus. It’s terribly contagious, so it’s no surprise that according to the World Health Organization, 67% of the human population worldwide has it.
HSV-1 presents as fever blisters traditionally on the lips, although they can appear on the chin, cheeks, and even the nose. They can be very painful and as they blister up, they can ooze. Traditionally cold sores will clear up on their own within 10 days.
It’s important that when your child presents a fever blister, that you protect them from sharing any cups or dishes, keep their toothbrush and toothpaste separate from the rest of the family members’, and even have them use a separate hand towel for washing hands, face, and brushing teeth.
For the first time your child presents a fever blister, it is possible that they have other symptoms as well. A light fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, drooling, and irritability may accompany the blister.
When the cold sore(s) heal, and disappear, the virus retreats within the body. Some people never have another outbreak, others continue to have them from time to time. Triggers for a fever blister can include:
- other illness that lowers your body’s immune defenses
- menstrual periods
- poor diet
While cold sores and fever blisters will heal on their own with time, we can speed up the healing process greatly with a treatment from our CO2 laser. The laser kills the virus in the blister area and seals the nerve endings which will provide immense pain relief.
About Canker Sores
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers is the medical term) can be confused with fever blisters because they both are so painful and inhibit eating and drinking. Canker sores however occur only on the inside of the mouth, are white in color, and are not a contagious virus. They are actually the result of your body’s immune system having an overreaction. This overreaction can be prompted by any of the following:
- minor mouth injury such as accidentally biting your cheek or sharp edges from dental braces
- aggressive tooth brushing
- acidic fruits or vegetables such as oranges, lemons, pineapples, and tomatoes
Treatment from our CO2 laser will shorten healing time of canker sores, provide relief from pain, and can increase the amount of time between occurrences. The laser treatment can be administered at any time on a canker sore, but that doesn’t mean you should wait to come in.
About Lip Ties
Between your lips and gum lines, there exists a soft small piece of tissue, that if you roll up your lip you can see. This tissue is called the frenulum. When children have a frenulum that is either too thick, stiff, or even too short it can prevent their lips from having the freedom of movement necessary for speech and comfortable eating. When a nursing baby has a lip tie, it can prevent them from being able to form a proper latch to breastfeed. This can of course be painful for the mother, but also incredibly frustrating and scary for an infant.
The procedure to fix this lip tie is called either a frenotomy or frenectomy. We have performed more of these procedures than any other pediatric dentistry in Davis County. We always do a thorough diagnostic check before performing this procedure and have an honest discussion with the parents involved before moving forward with this treatment.
The CO2 laser can fix the lip tie quickly, and babies are free to begin nursing immediately following for comfort or need. The laser-performed lip tie corrections are shorter than those performed by a scalpel. They are also less painful and have a quicker recovery period (only a few days).
Tongue ties can also be treated in the same manner by the laser. Tongue ties are when the tissue between the bottom of the tongue and the floor of the mouth is either too short, too thick, or too stiff. Much the same as with a lip tie, tongue ties can cause problems with speech and food. Moreover, when corrected by laser, your child will have a quick recovery period and feel an immediate difference in maneuverability.
Call Us If You Think Your Child Needs a Laser Treatment
Call us right away to schedule an appointment to treat your child’s cold sore. They don’t have to endure 10 days of pain and discomfort. The laser treatment is the most effective if done within the first 48 hours, and can typically bring healing time down from 10 days to three or less.
If you believe your baby, child, or even teenager may have an undiagnosed lip tie or tongue tie please let us know. Even if your child is older and speaks and eats well, it may still be having an adverse effect on their health. Lip ties and tongue ties in adolescents and adults can cause migraines, and neck and shoulder pain.
All these conditions of the mouth are relatively small yet have a big potential to cause pain. Let us help your child’s pain, and ease your worries. Call us today to make an appointment for a consultation about laser pediatric dentistry services at one of our four convenient locations in: