Herphetical stomatitis: What it is, causes and treatment


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Herphetical stomatitis causes wounds that have a burning sensation and discomfort, with red edges and whitish or yellow centre. They usually affect the outside of the lips, gums, tongue, throat and inside the cheeks. Herphetical stomatitis takes an average of 7 to 10 days to heal.

This type of stomatitis is caused by the herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV-1. It is rarely caused by HSV-2 and it results in symptoms such as inflammation, pain and swelling in the mouth which usually appear immediately after contact with the virus.

Upon attack, this virus settles on the cells of the face and it therefore has no specific cure. It can also recur when the immunity is low or as a result of stress and poor diet. It can best be avoided by eating a healthy diet, doing physical exercise and performing relaxation techniques.

Main symptoms

The main symptom of herphetical stomatitis is the wound, and it may attack any part of mouth. However, before the injury appears the person may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Redness of the gums
  • Pain in the mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • General malaise
  • Irritability
  • Swelling and tenderness in the mouth inside and out
  • Fever

In addition, when the wound is larger in size, it may also cause difficulties in speaking, eating and loss of appetite due to pain caused by the injury.

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When the problem affects babies, it causes malaise, irritability, bad breath and fever as well as difficulty breastfeeding and sleeping.

Even though the problem is common, it is ideal to seek medical attention so as to confirm if it is caused by the herpes virus and start the appropriate treatment.

How treatment is done

Treatment of herphatic stomatitis lasts between 10 to 14 days. It is done using antiviral remedies which are in form of tablests and oitments such as acyclovir or penciclovir. When the pain is severe, analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used.

Propolis extract can also be used on the wound as a complementary of the remedies prescribed by the doctor. It will bring relief from pain and the burning sensation.

To avoid discomfort from the symptoms, it also recommended to consume a diet rich in liquids and pasty based on creams, soups, mingaus and purees. Acidic foods such as oranges and lemons should be avoided.


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Cornelius A.

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