Herpes labialis: What is worth to know about it?

Herpes labialis: What is worth to know about it?

Herpes labialis is a common but often underestimated ailment that may pose a challenge to both our health and quality of life. In today’s article, we will introduce you to the subject – from the basics to the impact on dental visits.

Cold sores: What is it and how does it occur?

Cold sores are the result of infection with the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1) . Herpes virus infections are widespread. Studies show that approximately 90% of adults are infected with the HSV-1 virus , but only half of them suffer from recurrences of cold sores.

Herpes virus type 1 infection manifests itself as painful lesions on the skin around or inside the mouth, in the form of individual inflammatory papules, which then turn into small, painful, fluid-filled vesicles. These then burst, leaving ulcers and erosions. Once fully healed, they usually leave no scar.

An unpleasant feeling of itching, burning and swelling are the main symptoms of herpes, which hinders everyday functions and significantly affects well-being.


The causes of cold sores can be various:

  • HSV-1 virus : The main cause is infection with the HSV-1 virus, which remains dormant in the body and can become active under appropriate conditions.
  • Stress and weakened immune system: Stress, fatigue and weakened immune system are factors that promote the activation of the virus and the appearance of herpes.
  • Sun exposure and extreme temperatures: Intense sun or low temperatures can make herpes symptoms worse.
  • Hormonal disorders: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during menstruation or pregnancy, can increase the risk of developing herpes.
  • Micro-injuries to the skin: Injuries to the skin around the mouth, such as scratches or burns, can facilitate infection.

Herpes labialis and appointment in the dental office

For many of us, a visit to the dentist is an opportunity to take care of our oral health. However, if cold sores occur, there is a risk of it spreading throughout the mouth during the visit. This phenomenon is called Herpetic Stomatitis. This type of infection also presents as inflammatory lumps that then turn into fluid-filled vesicles. It is accompanied by a feeling of itching, burning and swelling, but compared to cold sores – the symptoms are much more severe and cause discomfort because the erosions occur inside the oral cavity.


Why is it worth canceling a visit to the dentist if cold sores appear?

  • Risk of Spread: Active cold sores can easily spread throughout your mouth. This can not only lead to worsening symptoms, but also increase the risk of infection in other areas of the mouth.
  • Herpes Stomatitis: This is a serious complication that can occur after the spread of cold sores during a dental visit. It manifests itself in painful ulcers throughout the entire oral mucosa, which makes everyday functions such as eating or speaking much more difficult.



How can you cure herpes virus type 1?

Although there is no way to completely cure herpes, there are effective methods of treating and alleviating the symptoms which it causes. The most popular and effective preparations for the treatment of herpes are over-the-counter preparations in the form of creams or ointments containing acyclovir or penciclovir. By inhibiting virus replication, they help shorten the duration of the infection and alleviate its symptoms.

Come to Warsaw Dental Academy

Warsaw Dental Academy is a place where the oral health of our patients is our highest priority. A visit to the dentist’s office should be comfortable and safe. Therefore, we encourage patients to cancel their appointments if they develop a cold sores.

Our staff of doctors and medical staff are experienced in managing cases of cold sores and herpes stomatitis. We care about patient safety and use strict hygiene and disinfection measures to prevent the spread of infection.

It is worth remembering that taking care of your oral health is crucial to the overall health of your body. Regardless of whether you have a problem with cold sores or another ailment, Warsaw Dental Academy is ready to help you. Use our services to enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile.