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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Tysons Corner
8100 Boone Blvd., Suite 100, Vienna, VA 22182

The pain and inconvenience of oral lesions can disrupt your entire daily life and negatively impact your self-confidence. Traditionally, the only remedies for these monstrosities, which used to be called fever blisters, were chemicals, medications, topical products, or home remedies that were only marginally effective and took weeks to work. However, advances in the field of laser dentistry enable the different types of oral lesions to be treated quickly, painlessly, and often in a single office visit. By healing the lesion at its source, it disappears faster and more comfortably, often without the need for endless rounds of painkillers. Continue reading to learn more about this revolutionary oral lesions treatment.

Can I Have Different Types of Oral Lesions?

Although you might have both a canker sore and a cold sore simultaneously, it’s unlikely. Several types of lesions occur in and around the oral cavity, and they’re usually painful and unattractive. However, cold sores and canker sores have two different causes and locations. The following explains more about the various types of oral lesions:

Canker Sores

Canker sores, medically termed aphthous ulcers, occur inside the oral cavity and are harmless, although they’re very painful. Usually, they self-resolve within two weeks, but if you have a canker sore that hasn’t healed within two weeks, make an appointment with your dentist.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, type 1 and type 2. They occur outside the oral cavity, usually on the lips or nearby, and present as fluid-filled blisters that will self-resolve within three weeks or sooner. If your cold sore hasn’t healed within three weeks, make an appointment with your dentist. Some individuals seem more prone to an outbreak of the HSV, or herpes simplex virus, than others.


Hemangiomas are birthmarks that appear rubbery and are bright red. They’re caused by an accumulation of blood cells and are not a cause for alarm, although some people are self-conscious about them. Usually, a hemangioma will appear on the back, neck, face, or scalp, but it’s not an indication of cancer. Very rarely will an individual have a hemangioma inside the oral cavity.


HPV, or the human papillomavirus, is an STD, or sexually transmitted disease, that’s becoming increasingly common. More than 100 types of the virus have been identified, and several can affect the oral cavity. An HPV lesion should be treated promptly. Otherwise, you should be screened for oral cancer, which is rising dramatically throughout the nation. Although an HPV lesion isn’t usually cancerous, it’s considered precancerous because it causes normal cells to turn into abnormal cells.

Does Laser Therapy for Oral Lesions Have a Better Success Rate?

A laser dentistry treatment for an oral lesion is much more successful than traditional types of treatment. Some of the benefits include:

  • Less anesthesia is required most of the time
  • Greater precision than alternative methods
  • Trauma to gum tissue is considerably decreased
  • Minimal pain and discomfort during the procedure
  • Promotes faster healing
  • Reduced recovery time
  • Decreased need for painkillers and potential addiction

There are additional benefits to a laser dentistry treatment, so talk to your dentist about this innovative procedure.

What’s the Procedure for Diagnosing Oral Lesions?

Your dentist will need to diagnose your condition before providing an oral lesions treatment. We’ll visually inspect the soft tissues in your oral cavity. This encompasses your cheeks, gums, lips, tongue, and palate, and we’ll be looking for lumps or bumps or any abnormality. We’ll probably take clinical photographs, and we may need an x-ray to ensure that there are no structural issues. If you have a cold sore or canker sore, they’ll be readily apparent, but if anything suspicious is uncovered, we may take a tissue biopsy during your laser treatment. We’ll send it to a pathology lab for evaluation, but it shouldn’t interfere with your scheduled treatment.

What Happens During the Treatment Process?

Before we begin your treatment, we’ll administer a local anesthetic to the area so that it’s numb prior to commencement. Next, we’ll use a dental laser that’s adjusted to the proper wavelength for your procedure. This ensures that we can remove the problematic lesion without damaging the surrounding tissues. Most patients indicate an immediate cessation of pain, and many don’t need another treatment.

Are There Documented Case Studies?

Dentistry Today, a peer-reviewed trade magazine, featured a study of a 32-year-old man who presented with burning pain that was interfering with his daily activities such as eating, sleeping, and speaking. Examination revealed that he had an outbreak of HSV that was causing the problem. He was treated with the Biolase® Epic X diode laser. During the treatment, the patient stated that he felt a warm sensation but no pain, and he was scheduled to return the next day for a follow-up treatment. Upon his return the following day, his excision site had healed to the point that additional treatment was unnecessary.

Can I Find Out More About Laser Dentistry for Oral Lesions?

If you’re interested in learning more about the above case or laser dentistry treatments, call Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Tysons Corner at (703) 935-2825, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. If you have an oral lesion and need treatment, we can schedule an appointment with one of our specially-trained dentists. Since we have several locations within the Vienna area, we’re sure to have one that’s convenient for you. You can also book your appointment online. Contact us today. We look forward to working with you.

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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Tysons Corner

8100 Boone Blvd., Suite 100, Vienna, VA 22182

(703) 935-2825