Oral herpes is a herpes simplex viral infection that causes infection of the lips, mouth or gum. Small and painful blisters which are generally called as Cold sores or fever blisters results from oral herpes. Oral herpes are also called as herpes labialis.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the organism which causes oral herpes. The organism generally becomes dormant in the nerve tissues of the face after the first infection. But sometimes, the bacterium gets reactivated and causes cold sores.
One can catch the virus if there is an active outbreak or sore. Other means of catching the virus include;
- Having an intimate contact with the person who is infected
- By touching an open herpes sore
- By touching something that has been in contact with the herpes virus like infected razors, towels, dishes and other shared items
Symptoms of infection with HSV-1 may range from mild to severe. The symptoms generally appear within 1 to 3 weeks after the contact with the virus, which last up to 3 weeks. Some people get mouth ulcers when they first come in contact with the HSV-1 virus, while others have no symptoms.
Symptoms are triggered by;
- Menstruation or hormonal changes
- Being out in the sun
Some of the warning symptoms include;
- Itching of the lips or skin around the mouth
- Burning near the lips of the mouth area
- Tingling near the lips or mouth area
Symptoms that occur before blisters appear to include;
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
- Painful swallowing
Antiviral medicines are generally prescribed by the physicians to fight the virus. This helps to reduce the symptoms & pain and make the symptoms go away sooner.
Medicine that is used to treat mouth sores include;
Antiviral creams can also be used. However, as they are expensive and generally shorten the outbreak by a few hours to a day.
- Avoid direct contact with herpes sores
- Apply moisturizing balm to prevent the lips from becoming dry
- Apply sunblock containing zinc oxide on the lips before you go outside
- Do not share utensils, straws, glasses or other items if someone has oral herpes
- Do not have oral sex if you have oral herpes, especially if you have blisters
- Wash items such as towels and linens in boiling hot water after each use
When to seek medical help?
Call your medical provider if you have;
- Symptoms that are severe or if the symptoms don’t go away after 2 weeks
- Sores or blisters near the eyes
- Herpes symptoms along with a weakened immune system due to certain diseases or medicines
- In case if you have any more queries or concerns, contact mydentalpaln.in