There are two types of herpes virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. The first herpes virus is usually the cause of oral herpes. Oral herpes can occur in people of any age, but mostly younger people.
Oral herpes occurs around the mouth, inside the mouth, on the lips, gums and even the tongue. These painful sores show up and can stay for a couple of weeks to a month. The virus is spread by contact with erupted infected sores. It is easy to catch.
When you first contract oral herpes, the telltale sign in most people is a cold sore. However, for some there are no sores or other symptoms. In others, they feel like they are coming down with the flu. The lymph glands in the neck and throat area will also swell up. It may take a few days to a few weeks for the signs to show up after contact with the virus.
Oral herpes is uncomfortable when an outbreak occurs. It is wise to abstain from kissing or other contact with infected areas, or you can pass it on to others. It is especially dangerous for newborn babies. The virus may enter their body and travel to the brain, causing a lot of damage.
A doctor can examine you and tell you exactly what you have. Testing the sores and blood work can be done to tell which form of the virus has caused your infection. Because there is no cure, the only thing that you can do is wait out the sores until they heal.
If the pain is too severe, a doctor can prescribe a topic anesthetic with lidocaine. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also be used, such as Advil and ibuprofen. Dehydration is a big concern with oral herpes. Some people stop drinking and eating because it is too painful. Take in as many fluids as you can to avoid being hospitalized and given IV fluids.
Other than these measures, there is not much you can do to manage the condition. If you think that someone has a cold sore, keep contact to a minimum to avoid contracting oral herpes. In the case that you are the one with the condition, wash hands thoroughly after tending to the sores so that you don’t infect others.
Stress can lead to more frequent outbreaks. After the initial phase, the virus can remain dormant for a long time. Emotional or physical stress can get the virus stirred back up and lead to more cold sores in the oral area.
Have you had a cold sore? Most people have. This is caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 and is referred to as oral herpes. Avoid spreading the virus during outbreaks and use pain relievers to deal with the other symptoms.