Tongue Herpes: Causes, Signs & Treatment

According to research, tongue herpes is more common than most people would imagine. This nature of infection usually occurs as a result of an infection of the mouth as a whole; it is otherwise what is medically referred to as oral herpes. While the condition may not be worth a trip to your doctor’s office, it is no pleasant experience. Once you notice any of the initial symptoms associated with tongue herpes, it could very much mean a downhill rush for well over a week or two from there. That said, let’s take a quick look at all things tongue and oral herpes including its most suitable treatment.

Causeskissing family

Tongue herpes is caused by the HSV-1 herpes simplex virus. Ulceration on your tongue is just one of its many oral infection manifestations. The virus is highly infectious and can easily be acquired in contact with infected mucus, saliva, membrane or even skin. Children highly susceptible to infection from kisses by family members and friends. On acquiring the virus, it may remain dormant for the extended period of time ( might last for several years).

Signs & Symptoms

After contact with your body, the virus develops in stages. These stages are as follows.

  • Initial Primary infection stage – This basically refers to when the virus gets into the body in contact with an uninfected host.
  • Latent Stage – Once in the system, the virus nests along nerve pathways and the spine. On settling into its new environment, the virus becomes inactive or dormant until triggered to surface. Its dormancy period may last years.
  • Recurrent Stage – This, simply, is when the virus is awakened. This is usually due thanks trigger factors mainly associated with physical, emotional and mental stress.
  • Incubation Period – This is the time between the first contact with the virus and the appearance of the symptoms. For the majority of the victims, this period lasts for anywhere between 2-12 days.

In the period leading up to the appearance of the sores, the infected experiences a couple of unpleasant prerequisites. Signs such as itchiness, burning and tingling sensations are often observed in the infection area. Eventually, blisters or sores breakout on these areas, commonly on the edge of the tongue. The blisters typically look like tiny gray breakouts with a red base. These ulcerations contain a contagious yellow fluid.

Above all, the sores come with a lot of pain and discomfort; the infected may even experience difficulties when eating or drinking anything. The infection period lasts between 2-3 weeks.


seek medical helpTongue herpes is generally not considered serious enough for a visit to a medical professional. However, it is always advisable to seek medical help if possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. Even so, you can easily handle the infection at home. The following are some tips to keep the infection at bay even when at home.

  • For the pain, patients are advised to take pain relievers such as acetaminophen and Ibuprofen; these get the job done.
  • Gaggle or rinse your mouth with salt water to helps clean the blisters and also heal them faster.
  • Most importantly, keep hydrated. Ensure constant water intake throughout the day and the infection period.

Avoid salty, spicy or sugary foods; they only make the infection worse.


The virus has no known cure and it often reoccurs once in the system. Therefore, the best prevention measure is to avoid infection. While the condition has proven highly infectious especially from the blister fluid, it is possible to avoid infection altogether. This can be done by avoiding direct contact with saliva, mucous and other body fluids.

To know more information regarding dental concerns like these and other safe dental services especially dental cleaning, just click on the link.


Author: Claudia

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  1. It is a hard time if you have this kind of condition, having difficulty in eating and speaking. Most people carry a dormant form of the virus, so take precautionary measures to avoid infection.

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  2. Having tongue herpes keeps your mouth on getting dry. So it’s better to keep hydrated by always drinking water.

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