Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Herpes Oral Overview

Another name for Herpes Oral is Herpes Gingivostomatitis.

What is herpes gingivostomatitis?
A person with herpes gingivostomatitis has an infection caused by Herpes simplex virus type 1. The infection causes painful blisters and ulcers in the mouth, or on the skin around the mouth. About 4 out of 5 adults in the US are infected by the Herpes simplex 1 virus. After initial infection, the virus causes temporary symptoms that resolve, but additional episodes are common.

What are the symptoms of herpes gingivostomatitis?
The most common symptoms of herpes gingivostomatitis include mouth or tongue lesions, blisters in the mouth, and mouth ulcers. Additional symptoms of herpes gingivostomatitis include mouth or tongue pain, lip swelling, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, and swollen glands in the neck.

How does the doctor treat herpes gingivostomatitis?
Herpes gingivostomatitis usually resolves without treatment after 4 to 6 days. Medication may reduce symptoms or prevent episodes in those who have severe symptoms. Treatment for herpes gingivostomatitis includes antiviral medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Herpes Oral Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Herpes Oral References
  1. Amir J, Harel L, Smetana Z, Varsano I. The natural history of primary herpes simplex type 1 gingivostomatitis in children. Pediatr Dermatol. 1999 Jul-Aug;16(4):259-63. [10469407]
  2. Frenkel LM. Herpes Simplex Virus Infections in Adolescents. Adolesc Med. 1995 Feb;6(1):65-78. [10358302]
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