Intraoral herpes can happen to both young and older adults. It’s an infection that affects the mouth and lips area. And it’s caused by a virus known as herpes simplex. It is characterized by the eruption of painful blisters and sores around your gums, lips, and tongue. Other affected areas include your mouth and inside your cheeks. Also, it may cause muscle aches and fever. Let’s check out more on intraoral herpes
The overview of HSV-1
Oral herpes affects only human being. Mouth sores do occur in children from the age of 1-2 years. But it can affect people of any age. And it can also be transmitted anytime. It’s spread by touching an infected person mucous membranes, saliva, and skin. Since the virus has high levels of contagious, most people will have its subtype. The oral herpes virus attacks an individual with three stages. We have the primary infection, latency, and recurrence stage.
The Stages of Oral Herpes
- The Primary infection stage
During this stage, the virus enters a person mucous membrane or skin and reproduces. It’s during this stage that oral sores and symptoms like fever develop. However, for the asymptotic infection, it doesn’t have symptoms or sores. Nevertheless, the asymptomatic infection does occur as often as the symptomatic infection.
- The Latency stage
From the area it has infected, the virus them moves to your spine nervous tissue. The virus finds its hiding place at dorsal root ganglion. Here the virus becomes inactive and reproduces again.
- The Recurrence Stage
The recurrence of herpes virus happens due to change of lifestyle. Physical, emotional, and stressful encounters might reactive the virus. During the recurrence state, the virus causes new symptoms and sores.
Causes of oral herpes
The oral herpes simplex comes as a DNA virus causing sores and blisters. It has two types of subtype. The first subtype gets generated by the oral herpes infection. The HSV-2 virus causes the second subtype herpes. This happens during oral sex with an HSV-2 infected person.
Symptoms of oral Herpes
HSV-1 has various notable symptoms that occur during the different stages of the virus. During the incubation period, oral herpes takes between 2-12 days from the contact time. For most people, it only takes 4days for the symptoms to blossom. That is from the day of contacting the virus.
The duration of the illness brings out symptoms and signs that last for about 2-3 weeks. Symptoms may include
Muscle aches, tiredness, irritability, and fever. Others notable trait include burning, painful, and tingling itching.
Such symptoms occur on the infected site before the appearance of the sores. After the sensation, the cluster of blisters usually erupts. The blisters start as shallow, tiny, and gray ulcers with a red base. They later break down rapidly, becoming crusted. What is more, they appear more yellow and drier.
Oral blisters cause intense pain. They mostly occur on the onset, making it hard for you to enjoy your meals. The lesions do occur on the gums, lips, front of the tongue, and the throat. Other areas include the mouth roof. They may then extend down to the neck and chin.
Moreover, they cause the gums to become red, swollen and may bleed. The neck lymph nodes become painful and swollen. For the teens and young adults he herpes sores makes the throat pain. Additionally, it causes shallow ulcers with the tonsils having a greyish coating.
Seeking Medical Care
When you get painful sores making it challenging to drink and eat it’s time for a doctor call. Lack of proper body nutrition may lead to dehydration, causing more problems. Such problems include
- Dry mouth
- Decrease in urination
- In case you have sores that you don’t understand their origin
If you have a child less than eight weeks with lesions, notify your doctor. Disease complication or severe infections do commonly occur in infants. For examples, the herpes simplex virus in infants may affect the brain hence causing damage.
For those people with a weak immune system, during an outbreak, call a doctor. The immune system helps to protect and fight infections. If it weakens, you can quickly get disease complication or severe infection.
Note: In case you experience the above symptoms and signs of dehydration. Go to the hospital emergency department.
Tests and Exams for Oral Herpes
Doctors base your oral herpes diagnosis based on physical information. And also on the data, you provide. However, the appearance that cold sores bring cause leaves little doubt.
Nevertheless, if the infection does involve other organ systems, you need definitive diagnoses. The doctor may conduct some laboratory tests. Such test includes a sample of your sores fluids. This helps to identify the virus. The culture analysis and a staining test are known as Tzanck smear. Also, the blood test is done for antibody and antigen studies.
Oral- Herpes Treatment
For the treatment of HSV-1, you can opt for self-care or medical treatment. In the case of home care treatments, you need pain relievers for muscle ache and fever. Such medication includes acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Moreover, drinking lots of fluids like fresh juices helps to prevent dehydration.
Medical treatment involves using IV or oral medication for those with a weak immune system. Also using topical anesthetic like viscous lidocaine helps to relieve pain. Sometimes during an oral herpes outbreak, some people may need hospital admission. Such people include
- Those with a weak immune system and sever local infection
- People whom the organ system have been affected by the disease
- Dehydrated individuals may need IV hydration
- Infants younger than six weeks with severe disease
Proper Medication follow-up for the HSV-1 includes
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Using pain medications to relieve pain and control fever
- Watching out for any dehydration symptoms and signs
Avoid having a direct touch of skin, saliva, or the mucous membrane of an infected person.
Intraoral herpes affects your mouth area, giving your discomfort. Additionally, it causes an individual to lose their self-esteem. However, with proper care and medication, it’s easy to suppress the symptoms. During an outbreak, keep your body well hydrated. Always embrace the nutritious lifestyle to keep your immune system healthy.