Cold Sore Remedies

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
December 31, 2020

Woman hiding cold sore with her hand

Having a cold sore can be really embarrassing. Unfortunately, there’s no cure, so if you have contracted the virus that causes these sores, they’ll continue to come and go. The good news, however, is that there are remedies you can use in order to shorten healing time and relieve discomfort. 

Natural Remedies That Are Worth Trying 

When it comes to natural remedies for cold sores, consider trying the following to see if they help soothe your symptoms.

  • Gently applying a cold compress to the sore might be helpful if you’re experiencing swelling and pain. By numbing the area, you may be able to get temporary relief.

  • Getting enough lysine through diet and supplementation might hinder the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. You can also find creams that contain lysine if you want to apply it to a cold sore to see if that helps with healing.

  • Taking vitamin C and vitamin E supplements may be beneficial. Vitamin E might help an existing sore heal, while vitamin C may work on inactivating the herpes virus.


Various ointments, creams, and balms might also be worth a try. Here are several examples:

  • Aloe vera gel, which boasts anti-inflammatory properties, might help you fight the virus, and it may provide soothing relief while supporting healing.

  • A cream that contains sage and rhubarb might help heal your cold sore faster.

  • An ointment that contains propolis, which is synthetic beeswax, might help shorten the time that you have a cold sore.

  • Kanuka honey may be as effective as medication, and you can easily apply it topically.

  • Diluted tea tree oil or peppermint oil are options that might help heal your cold sore in a shorter amount of time. Tea tree oil boasts antiviral and antiseptic properties, while peppermint oil might help get in the way of the herpes virus.

  • Lemon balm extract may be beneficial if you want to ensure efficient healing of your cold sore. It boasts antiviral properties, and it might help with reducing inflammation.


Over-the-Counter and Prescription Remedies  

In addition to natural solutions, there are also products that you can buy over the counter or get with a prescription from your doctor. Below are a few options to consider:

  • A well-known remedy is Abreva, which can be purchased without a prescription. It’s easy to apply, and it contains ingredients that may help shorten the amount of time it takes to get rid of the sore, especially if you use it as soon as you notice symptoms.

  • Creams that contain pain-relieving ingredients, such as benzocaine and lidocaine, may make having a cold sore more tolerable. Or, you might try taking pain-relieving pills, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, instead.

  • Your doctor might prescribe antiviral medications that help your body fight the herpes virus. These may also help decrease the amount of time it takes to heal. Examples include Denavir, Zovirax, Famvir, and Valtrex.


A Laser Treatment Offered by Dentists  

Some dentists offer a laser treatment that might help stop a cold sore before it appears, provided that you get the treatment in time, such as when you start to feel the tingling that often precedes an outbreak.

But what if you already have a sore? A laser treatment might still be an option when it comes to drying it up and disinfecting it, reducing inflammation and pain, and speeding up healing. 

To see if this type of treatment would be right for you, just consult with a dentist that offers it.  

Can You See the Dentist for an Appointment When You Have a Cold Sore?

If you have a cold sore, is it safe to see the dentist, or should you reschedule your appointment? Well, this will depend on your dentist, as well as the type of dental treatment you need. 

Simply call your dentist’s office to ask them how to proceed. Your dentist might not want to risk it if your cold sore is contagious, and might advise that you hold off on treatment if it’s possible to do so. 

Also, keep in mind that undergoing dental treatments when you have a cold sore might cause it to become irritated or painful, and it might crack or bleed as well. You don’t want that to happen, especially if your goal is to reduce healing time!

Be Patient When You Have a Cold Sore

It might take longer than a week for a cold sore to go away, so do your best to be as patient as possible. And it may take some trial and error to figure out which of the solutions above will work for you. However, it’ll be worth the effort if it means your cold sore will heal more quickly!



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