The cause of this disease is herpes simplex virus. Infection develops in two stages. In the first stage, bubbles develop in the mouth, and later, they change into painful ulcers. The gums swells and turns dark red, and the tongue is often “covered” with bumps. The temperature may be elevated, and you may generally feel bad. The older you are, the more severe the infection is; in young children herpes simplex can be so mild that it goes unnoticed.
After the infection disappears, the virus ”lays low”. It can be reactivated later by some other infection (usually cold), or exposure to sun or wind. At the corner of the mouth a bladder is formed, which then ruptures and turns into a typical herpes sores.
Herpes simplex is very common and not dangerous. The main danger, during the first stage of infection occurs when the body has not developed resistance or immunity to the virus, in that you can touch the infected part, then the eye, and thereby cause corneal ulcer. Another possibility is a development of a disease called genital herpes.
In mild cases of first infection, no treatment is required. In severe cases, your doctor will advise you to rest, take aspirin (if you have a temperature) and apply prescribed antiviral agents on the sores. Herpes simplex always disappears naturally; however, if the sores are painful, or lasts longer than three weeks, go to a doctor who will prescribe you the same agent that you have initially applied.