Alternate Names : Herpes Simplex, HSV-1
Oral herpes is a common condition that shows up as blisters in the mouth or the area around it. They usually develop on the gums, roof of the mouth, outside of the lips, or the nostrils. Oral herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus
type I, or HSV-1.
What is going on in the body?
Oral herpes occurs in two stages: primary infection and recurrence
of infection. At some time during childhood, most people come down with the
primary infection. The individual may or may not have symptoms. This primary infection takes
about two weeks to clear up. After that, the virus remains in the body but is inactive.
After this primary infection, a recurrence can happen at any time. Many outbreaks occur without any obvious reason. However, the following factors may trigger a recurrence:
being tired or rundown
exposure to sunlight
an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold or flu
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Oral herpes is caused by the HSV-1 virus. People in the following categories may be more at risk for oral herpes:
people undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy
people with cancer or other debilitating diseases
people with HIV or other immunodeficiency disorders