Oral herpes is an infection of the mouth and lips caused by the herpes simplex virus (also termed HSV). The virus causes painful sores on lips, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside the cheeks and sometimes on the face and neck. It also can cause symptoms such as fever and muscle aches. People commonly refer to the infection as “cold sores.” Another condition, “canker sore,” is often thought to be caused by HSV, but this is not true. Canker sores occur only inside the mouth, on the tongue and on the soft palate (roof of mouth), not on skin surfaces. Although they reoccur, they are not contagious, usually are self-limiting, and have almost no complications. Canker sores are caused by substances that irritate the oral mucosa. Continue reading
Recently there have been studies that link the Cold Sore virus to Alzheimer’s disease. Cold sores are already an embarrassing problem by itself and to discover that the viral infection is linked to a mental condition gives us another splitting headache. Before we go into the connection between the two, let us go through the basics of both conditions.
What are cold sores?
Cold sores, fever blister or medically termed as herpes labialis is a common viral infection that affects Americans every year which appear as fluid-filled blisters or sores found on the lips or around the mouth. They are not an inherited condition and are caused by the reactivation of the latent herpes simplex virus in the nerves after primary herpes infection by certain triggering factors.
Cold sores are contagious and they can spread through saliva and direct contact with sores. Most cold sores will heal by themselves within one week to ten days but medications may be prescribed by your doctor if the condition is uncomfortable and unsightly. Continue reading
Viral infections are very common among Americans for they are readily transmitted by saliva and other bodily fluids. The herpesviruses are the most frequent cause of viral infection in the mouth and herpes simplex virus (usually type 1) is the one responsible for cold sores.
What are cold sores?
Cold sores, fever blister or medically termed as herpes labialis is a common viral infection caused by the reactivation of the latent herpes simplex virus in the nerves after primary herpes infection. They are usually fluid-filled blisters or sores found on the lips or around the mouth and are not an inherited condition. Sometimes sores can appear on the chin, cheeks, in the nose or inside the mouth.
Cold sores can be mistaken as canker sores, another common oral condition, but both are very much different in their tendency to recur, in number and in duration. Canker sores are not caused by virus and are not contagious. Continue reading