What Exams and Treatments Are Available for HSV-1?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, oral herpes can be difficult to diagnose. It is often confused with many other infections and can only be confirmed with a virus culture called PCR, blood test, or biopsy. The treatment for each case of oral herpes may vary due to factors such as severity and location.
Symptoms may last from seven to 10 days in the first outbreak. Subsequent outbreaks may heal completely in eight to 10 days. Medications like acyclovir, which can be administered in a pill, ointment, or cream form, can sometimes eliminate symptoms faster than if they were left to heal without intervention. Ask your physician or dentist about over-the-counter and prescription antiviral medications that can be used to treat herpes.
Medication is most effective when the symptoms are just starting (prodromal stage) and can arrest the virus if treated early. However, once herpes in the mouth forms raised, blister-like lesions known as vesicles, the medication is not as effective.
Talk to your primary care physician or dental professional if you suspect a herpes outbreak in or around your mouth. They will be able to properly diagnose your condition and help get you on the road to recovery and a pain-free smile.