Herpes in mouth is caused by herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), however the other strain called HSV-2 can also cause herpes infection. The infection presents with tiny fluid filled blisters inside the cheek, on the roof of mouth and on the corners of lip. They break open after few days to form painful sores.
The condition is contagious and transmits through kissing, direct contact with saliva, skin or mucus membrane of the infected person. As it is contagious, at least 50 percent of people before attaining adulthood may have been infected with the virus. Out of the infected persons only 10 percent may develop oral symptoms.
Herpes in mouth passes through three stages. In the primary stage the virus enters into non infected person through broken skin or mucus membrane by contact of saliva or mucus membrane of an infected person. During this stage person may develop mild fever and mouth sores. Some patients may remain asymptomatic.
Herpes virus is not killed after primary infection symptoms subside.
Symptoms Of Herpes In The Mouth
Herpes in mouth can develop in adults as well as children. The incubation period is 2 to 10 days. It is the time period for symptoms to appear after the entry of virus into the body.
At the onset of disease, patient experiences pain, burning and tingling in mouth and lips. There may be associated mild fever, muscle pain, and lassitude. Within 2 to 3 days clusters of tiny fluid filled blisters will form. These bumps will break open leaving behind shallow red ulcers.
After few days the sores become dry with formation of crusts on the surface. Sores develop inside the cheek, on the roof of mouth, tongue, and on the corner of lips. Gums become red and swollen. They are most painful during the onset which makes eating and drinking extremely difficult and painful.
The lymph nodes in neck swell and may become painful. Once healed, the sores can reappear under favorable circumstances.
Home Remedies For Herpes In The Mouth
Herpes in mouth can recur from time to time. However, the symptoms can be alleviated with antiviral medicines as well as home remedies. Local use of anesthetic cream is also effective in relieving pain and tingling.
People with suppressed immune system may need hospitalization for treating the condition. Home remedies are equally beneficial in relieving pain. Below are given important effective home remedies.
- Apply ice on the affected area. It helps to reduce pain and inflammation in the mouth caused due to herpes infection. Apply ice before eating or drinking as it numbs the area.
- Echinacea is a medicinal plant which has natural antiviral properties. Put few drops of Echinacea mother tincture in a glass of water. Swish your mouth with the solution at least two to three times in a day.
- Tea tree oil is another time tested home remedy to soothe and heal mouth sores caused due to herpes simplex virus. Put two to three drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water and gargle it daily for few days till the sores have healed.
- Black coffee is another natural remedy for herpes in mouth. To enhance the healing of sores and alleviate pain, hold the prepared black coffee in your mouth for few minutes. Follow the procedure 2 times in a day.
- Avoid oral sex and kissing with a person having herpes sores in mouth and on lips. Avoid it till the sores have healed and the inside of mouth appears normal.