Herpes is not a word that anyone wants to hear as it brings fearful thoughts but oral herpes is commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters which most of us have at one time or another. It is a virus that most of us carry by the time we are sixty years old and only 40% of people experience outbreaks of it. These outbreaks are more of an annoyance than anything else.
Most people are not aware that there are over 80 known herpes viruses? But dentists and other medical professionals know that the main one to cause oral herpes is known as herpes simplex type 1and once the virus enters your body, it is there for life. Even though most of us have this virus, you should know that it usually stays dormant but you may have occasional outbreaks which will clear up in 2 or 3 weeks.
The oral herpes virus can enter your body through small cuts, scrapes or any kind of break in your skin and also through the mucous membranes so it is important to avoid contact with others when you have these cold sores or fever blisters. Remember to follow these simple rules to avoid spreading or catching it:
- No kissing
- No form of skin contact with others
- No sharing of food, drink or kitchen utensils
- No sharing of toothbrushes or dental floss
- No sharing of towels
- Avoid close contact with infants
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is undergoing any kind of medical treatments that make their bodies vulnerable
There are certain things, other than oral contact, that may trigger a bout of herpes (cold sores or fever blisters) in you and they are as follows:
- Stress which can be emotional or physical
- Exposure to sun, wind and cold
- Lack of sleep
- Anything that causes your immune system to be down
It is important for you to be aware of any and all of these situations and to take all the steps you can to deal with them in a healthy and beneficial way.
You may not be aware that you are spreading oral herpes as it generally takes about 4 days for symptoms to show but it could be anywhere from 2 to 12 days. The symptoms of cold sores or fever blisters may include: fever, fatigue, muscle aches, irritability, pain, burning, tingling, and itching.
Oral sores will cause the most pain and can make eating and drinking difficult as they may occur on your lips, gums, throat, the front of the tongue, inside of the cheeks and roof of the mouth and the gums may become slightly swollen and red and may bleed. The sores can also extend down your chin and neck, your lymph nodes may swell and be painful and you may develop a painful throat with shallow ulcers.
Oral herpes is most likely to be found by your dentist and, if they develop during any of your routine dental procedures, your dentist will prescribe medications – creams or pills – before he/she continues with your treatment. The medications have to be started 24 hours before dental treatment and continued for 2 days after. Never put off dental treatment because you have cold sores or fever blisters…let your dentist decide what to do.
To learn more about oral herpes, which is commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters, call us at 1-877-283-0497 to book your no obligation, consultation at a time of your convenience.