There are two types of the herpes simplex virus; these are referred to type I and type II. The type I herpes virus normally causes infections on the area of the body above the waist, while type II is responsible for causing infections on the area of the body below the waist. Even though the type I herpes virus is the main cause of mouth herpes, infections above the waist can also be caused by type II of the herpes virus.
You may ask the question, how you do get mouth herpes ? Well, it is through mucus membranes, saliva or cuts; and once the virus enters your body, it broods for approximately 4 days and then symptoms start to appear. Once the outbreak of symptoms is under control, the nerve cells of the virus travel to the top of your spine and stays dormant until something reactivates it. When the virus is reactivated, it produces another outbreak once it travels down the nerve pathway. No one knows what cause the disease to become active.
Not all persons who have mouth herpes will have symptoms. For those persons who do have symptoms, outbreaks usually appear in clusters of small red sores inside of or close to the mouth. There have been cases where individuals have developed blisters at the back of their throats. You may also develop bleeding gums, aching joints, headaches, fevers and swollen lymph glands. The initial outbreak may last for a period of 2 to 3 weeks. Mouth herpes pictures are available on the Internet, so that you can compare the symptoms you are having to those in the shown in the pictures.
Although symptoms of mouth herpes can be very unpleasant, there are also some symptoms that are so mild that you would not suspect that you have contracted the virus. These symptoms may be as simple as having cracked lips or a pimple.
Once you have had your initial outbreak, you will continue to have recurrent episodes as there is no cure for the disease; it only can be treated. Over time, the symptoms of recurrent outbreaks will become milder, and the only symptom you will have may be blisters. Recurrent outbreaks generally last for a period of 8 to 10 days.
Although the exact reason for the activation of mouth herpes from dormancy is unknown, things that may trigger the virus include:
Injury to the region where outbreaks start
- Common cold
- Sun exposure
Mouth herpes is extremely contagious; therefore, you should ensure that you seek medical attention, and avoid contact with persons when you have an outbreak.