May also be called: Herpes Gingivostomatitis or Herpetic Stomatitis
Herpetic gingivostomatitis (her-PEH-tik jin-jih-vo-sto-muh-TY-tiss) is a contagious
mouth infection caused by herpes
simplex virus type 1 (HSV1). It most often occurs in young children and is usually
the first exposure a child has to the herpes virus (which is also responsible for
cold sores and fever blisters).
More to Know
Someone with herpetic gingivostomatitis may have blisters on the tongue, cheeks,
gums, lips, and roof of the mouth. After the blisters pop, ulcers will form. Other
symptoms include high fever (before
blisters appear), difficulty swallowing, drooling, pain, and swelling. Also, because
the sores make it difficult to eat and drink, dehydration
Herpetic gingivostomatitis usually clears up on its own within 2 weeks. Medicines
may be prescribed to speed up the recovery and fight the herpes virus or to numb the
mouth. Pain relievers and a diet of mostly cold nonacidic drinks also might be recommended.
Once a person is carrying the herpes simplex virus, repeated cold sore outbreaks may
occur when the immune system is weakened.
Keep in Mind
Because herpetic gingivostomatitis can spread easily, the best prevention is avoiding
close contact with infected people. Children shouldn't kiss or share food, drinks,
or utensils with an infected person. Because babies and toddlers like to put everything
in their mouth, sharing toys with infected kids should be avoided, too.
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