ORAL HERPES – inputs provided by Dr. Karishma Jaradi, Aesthetic Dentist – Dentzz Dental Care Centres

A lot is not known about the Herpes virus, majorly Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1) and Herpes Simplex Virus-2 (HSV-2). However the virus in consideration for this article is the HSV-1 Virus that causes herpes in the oral cavity.

This form of infection is a viral one which has its manifestation in the Oral Cavity. It is not un-common and a lot of people below the age of 22 are prone to this contagion taking lifestyle factors into consideration. Also known as Herpes Labialis, it appears in the form of painful blisters mainly around the mouth area and could either be multiple diffused ulcers or concentrated in a particular area. Probability also lies in their occurrence on the skin of the lips.

The disease is also known as ‘Cold Sores’ as it is normally preceded by sore throat, fever and chills. A person freshly infected by the virus is prone to Cold and flu followed by this inflammation if caused by HSV-1. Patients suffering from this infection find it difficult to swallow food, water and even medicines due to the soreness. During the onset of classic vesicles, they tend to form small fluid-filled blisters which may also appear inside the mouth or on the back of the throat, and the lymph nodes in the neck may swell.

Since it is viral infection, it could be spread in many ways the fastest being touching an infected person or a contaminated surface. Sexual interaction could also cause and spread this infection and therefore it is advised for an afflicted person to refrain from any such activities.

The sufferer undergoes excruciating pain and could be provided symptomatic relief only prescribed by the doctor. It is definitely not a pestilence of-sorts and if precautions are taken at the right time, it does not have major implications. There are certainly no vital treatments available for this infection while it subsides on its own just like any other virus. Although the doctors might prescribe medications such as anaesthetics to reduce the pain that is caused while the infection recedes. They also recommend the use of anti-viral drugs to control and limit the spread. Distressed patients could also use ice to minimise the pain.

The only worst thing about this infection is that once you get infected, it may take some time for the symptoms to develop. Basically you could never go back in time and figure out where you caught this virus from. Genital Herpes could also be transferred to and infect the other person with Oral herpes via oral sex. So Genital Herpes (HSV-2) to Oral Herpes (HSV-1) is also a possibility if one engages in Oral sex with an infected partner. As mentioned previously, the virus lies dormant in the body and resurfaces and gets triggered due to external precipitating factors such as exposure to sunlight, fever, stress, immunity etc. Also if adequate care is not taken to curb further implications, it could lead to conditions such as Herpes Encephalitis that affects the central nervous system or Ocular Herpes which could create loss of vision for life. Therefore it becomes necessary to understand the importance of diagnosing diseases and nipping it in the bud.

HSV-1 virus is generally self-limiting and does not require any major treatment and takes about 10 to 14 days to die down. It is painful but is not life-threatening and could subside with adequate care.

In this era of increased epidemics, it is highly desideratum to be considerate about personal sanitation and hygiene by evading new breed of deadly diseases and preventing complications that arise.