Herpes inside mouth is a viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes inside mouth is also known as oral herpes or cold sore. Oral herpes is highly contagious and painful condition. The sores may develop on the lips, inside of the cheeks, on the gums, tongue and the upper palate. Sometimes they may be seen on the face. This sores are small blisters filled with transparent fluid, they appear slightly reddish.
Many times sore of herpes inside mouth is confused with canker sores as they look similar, however canker sores are not contagious and they are restricted only in the mouth, roof of the mouth, on the tongue but they do not appear on the lips and corner of the mouth.
Is Herpes In The Mouth Contagious?
Herpes inside the mouth is extremely contagious disease. The spread of herpes infection from one person to another is through the saliva, mucus and skin to skin contact. Anyone coming in close contact with (saliva and mucus) of a person infected with oral herpes is at a greater risk of contracting the disease.
The infection can also spread from mouth to the genital tract of another person if there is oral- genital contact, in such case the condition is then referred as genital herpes, and for this reason it is also called sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Generally herpes simplex infection is categorized in two types, HSV1 and HSV2. Almost 80 % of herpes inside the mouth are caused by HSV1. The rest 20 % may be attributed to HSV2 type.
Symptoms Of Herpes Inside The Mouth
Most of the times herpes in mouth presents with mouth sore, however it can also be asymptomatic meaning without symptoms. There are three phases of herpes virus.
First phase: Herpes virus enters the body and produces acute symptoms such as fever, body ache, weakness, and irritation. There is burning pain at the site of infection before the appearance of sores.
Second phase: It is also called latent phase as the virus now attacks the nerves of the spine and remains dormant for a long period of time.
Third phase: Herpes simplex virus gets reactivated under favorable circumstances producing cold sores and other symptoms. Certain situations favor the reactivation of the virus such as low immune state, physical and emotional stress, fever, hormonal changes, etc.
How To Get Rid Of Oral Herpes?
Following remedies will help to get rid of herpes inside the mouth:
- The first step to treat herpes inside the mouth is to strengthen your immune system.
- Fever and pain can be controlled with anti pyretic and pain killers.
- Drink enough water.
- Local application of topical anesthetics helps to reduce the symptoms and pain to a great extent.
- Blisters and sores will recede within 1 to 2 weeks.
- Chances of recurrence of the symptoms are very high, when the circumstances become favorable for the virus to reactivate. Such as stress, sickness, physical strain or hormonal changes etc.
It is difficult to get rid of herpes simplex virus permanently from the body. Therefore taking prevention of its resurfacing time and again is very important. A strong immune system protects the body from its re-occurrence.