Oral herpes is an infection of the lips and mouth area caused by the herpes simplex virus or HSV-1. It is refered to by many names such as herpes on lips or herpes lips, but it is also known as cold sores and fever blisters.
The virus creates very painful sores on the lips and gums. The sores can also be found on the tongue, inside of cheeks and roof of the mouth. Other areas, but not as common are on the neck and other areas of the face.
Canker sores are thought to be the same as cold sores, but this is a falsehood. You will only find canker sores inside your mouth, never on skin surfaces. Canker sores are not contagious, come with no complications and are caused by an irritation inside the mouth.
Oral herpes infects close to 80% of the U.S. population, but by age 40 close to 60% of the population has built up enough antibodies to keep the virus at bay.
Here are some facts about Oral Herpes or HSV-1:
- The virus only affects humans. Most mouth sores are commonly found in children that are 1-2 years old.
- HSV-1 in contracted by touching infected saliva, or skin.
- Because it is so contagious, almost all adults become infected before adulthood.
- There are 3 stages a person goes through once they have contracted HSV-1
1. Being Infected-The virus will enter the skin and reproduce. Sores may and a fever may develop.
2. Latency-The virus will move to the closes nerve tissue and reproduces and becomes inactive, until it is triggered again.
3. Recurrence-When the body becomes stressed or some other trigger is set off the virus will activate and cause new sores and symptoms.
There are many reasons why the herpes virus reactivates for more information about the causes of oral herpes click here!