Knowing and understanding the symptoms of oral herpes can be a useful tool. Oral herpes does not have a cure, but there are treatment options available that can help reduce the severity of symptoms and avoid further spread of the virus to loved ones. That being said, it's impossible to treat herpes until you've been diagnosed by a physician. Those who recognize its symptoms can get to a diagnosis and treatment quickly.
The most common symptom of oral herpes is the cold sore, or fever blister. It starts off as a fluid filled blister and is most commonly present somewhere on the lips. Sometimes the sores can also be present inside the mouth and even on the tongue. It's technically possible for sores to erupt on other areas of the face as well, but that's very rare.
After a couple of days, the blisters open up and the fluid drains out. The blisters have now turned into open sores. The sores will eventually scab over and then heal. Healing can take up to a month in some cases. The sores are very contagious.
An increase in saliva and bad breath are the other two localized symptoms of oral herpes. The bad breath doesn't respond to brushing of the teeth. The extra saliva can sometimes make it feel strange to swallow. Sometimes the saliva can also seem thicker than usual. These symptoms are bothersome, but they are harmless.
A low grade fever, which is a fever under 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, is sometimes seen in oral herpes. The fever is more common in younger children and those with a weakened immune system. Most of the time the fever comes on two days before the cold sores appear. Fevers associated with oral herpes usually lasts only one or two days. A higher fever, or one that lasts longer than a couple of days, may be a symptom of something else and needs to be checked out by a doctor immediately.
The first time someone get an oral herpes infection, it's common to experience flu like symptoms. These include muscle aches, a general feeling of tiredness, and chills. These symptoms can be quite severe, especially for the first couple of days. They tend to go away after three to four days. A majority of people don't have these symptoms during later breakouts.
Most people won't have all of these symptoms. In fact, some people with the virus responsible for oral herpes will have no symptoms at all. On the other hand, it's possible for someone to have a symptom not usually related to oral herpes at all. Only a doctor can diagnose oral herpes so anyone with these symptoms, or anyone concerned about the possibility of having oral herpes should make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible.