Herpetic lesions – more commonly known as cold sores – are easily identified as tiny fluid-filled blisters that develop around the mouth, including the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks and the throat. The blisters may result in itching, burning, or tingling. Cold sores are highly contagious both when exposed and leaking fluid, as well as after a scab forms. To avoid catching this virus, make sure to keep away from personal or intimate contact with someone that has the infection. Also be sure not to touch any object that has been in contact with a cold sore.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. Typically the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) causes these lesions, however, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), aka genital herpes, may also be transferred to the mouth during oral sex resulting in oral herpes. Symptoms will last approximately1-3 weeks. Over-the-counter remedies are available to help relieve your discomfort, or your doctor or dentist can help with prescription antiviral drugs. If you are unsure as to whether or not you have a cold sore, a helpful dentist at Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C. can easily diagnose oral herpes during an examination and treat your condition if necessary.