Herpes and chickenpox are two common viral infections that can have significant dental implications. Oral herpes, also known as ‘lip fever’, is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), while chickenpox is caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV). These infections can be successfully treated, but it is important to identify and treat them as early as possible to prevent possible complications.
Oral herpes is a common viral infection that occurs in the mouth and lips and manifests itself in painful blisters. These are accompanied by itching and burning, making this infection unpleasant and painful. Oral herpes can be triggered by various factors such as stress, sun exposure or respiratory infections. Although oral herpes is not directly dangerous, it can lead to dental complications if not treated properly.
A common complication of oral herpes is herpetic gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can be painful and cause bleeding gums. Oral herpes can also lead to ulcerations in the lining of the mouth, which can cause pain and difficulty eating and drinking. To prevent complications, it is important that patients see their dentist as soon as possible if they develop symptoms of oral herpes.
Chickenpox is a viral infection that can affect the whole body and is manifested by the appearance of small, fluid-filled blisters. These can appear all over the body, including in the mouth and on the tongue, which can cause pain and discomfort when eating and drinking.
In addition, chickenpox can lead to lesions in the lining of the mouth, which can cause pain and discomfort.
A serious complication of chickenpox is shingles, a condition that occurs when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates in the body.
This can cause severe pain and blistering of the skin, but can also affect nearby nerves, which can cause neuropathic pain.
Shingles can also affect the mouth and cause pain and discomfort when eating and drinking.
To prevent dental complications caused by oral herpes and chickenpox, it is important that patients see their dentist as soon as they notice symptoms.
Patients can take preventive measures to reduce the risk of these infections, such as avoiding contact with infected people and maintaining good oral hygiene.
In the case of oral herpes, treatment consists of antiviral drugs which can reduce the duration and intensity of symptoms.
Medicines may also be given to reduce pain and inflammation.
In the case of dental complications, such as herpetic gingivitis or ulcers, antibiotics or anti-inflammatories may be needed.
In the case of varicose veins, treatment consists of antiviral drugs such as acyclovir or valacyclovir, which can reduce the duration and intensity of symptoms. Medicines may also be given to reduce pain and inflammation. To prevent complications, it is important that patients strictly follow their doctor’s recommendations and maintain proper oral hygiene.
The oral cavity is the gateway for many viruses and bacteria. Our immune systems are not always equipped to stop the invasion of pathogens.
Any lesion occurring in the oral cavity should alarm the patient and refer them to a stomatologist’s office for specialist diagnosis and assessment.
While in many cases, lesions in the oral cavity are not of major pathological significance, there are also cases where they hide diseases that are difficult to treat.
Although they have direct communication with the outside world and are accessible for inspection by both the dentist and the patient, more than 50% of malignant processes in the oral cavity are not detected at the initial stage, when treatment is minimally invasive and the success rate is high.
The pathologies presented below represent infections affecting a large percentage of the population. They are self-limiting lesions, frequently occur in childhood and are contagious.
Is caused by the presence of herpesvirus type 1. Clinically, it is manifested as follows:
multiple oral ulcerations preceded by vesicles
pain in the ulcers, which impairs the functions of the oral cavity
lesions may also appear in the perioral region, i.e. around the mouth
general signs such as fever and gingivitis are present
generally, affects children after the age of 5.
are self-limiting lesions that will heal in about two weeks
reactivation of the virus causes secondary infection;
Secondary herpes infection
Is caused by reactivation of the herpes virus. Factors such as exposure to strong sunlight, extreme cold, low immunity, fever and stress can lead to reactivation of the herpes virus.
The manifestations of herpesvirus reinfection are similar to primary infection but with worsening symptoms. Thus, blisters appear again and ulcerate, accompanied by burning, sniffling or even pain.
Secondary herpetic infection mainly affects adults and is most commonly seen in the lips, palate and fixed gums, which surround the teeth and bone. The healing period is two weeks and scarring is not present.
Varicella-zoster virus infection
Varicella is the infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus and has the following clinical manifestations:
Blisters that are both itchy and painful and ulcerations that evolve individually. Thus, we can find on the same surface both blisters in the eruptive stage and lesions that are already crusted.
Vesicles are more likely to be found on the trunk and face and less so in the oral cavity.
Varicella zoster virus is particularly contagious and is a common childhood condition. Clusters are true hotbeds for the spread of varicella.
Heals within a few weeks
Shingles occurs when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates. It is not a frequently occurring disease, but rather associated with severely immunodeficient or malignant tumor-like organisms.
Clinically, shingles presents as particularly painful ulcerations, much denser than varicella blisters, and affects the trunk, head and neck. In the oral cavity, their presence is reduced. The period of evolution may last more than 2-3 weeks and the associated pain is more intense than in varicella.
In conclusion, oral herpes and varicella are two common viral infections that can have significant dental implications. It is important that patients see their dentist as soon as possible for a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.