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Seeking Info on Herpes Inside the Mouth

Has anyone heard of Herpes inside the mouth? My son has nasty looking sores in his mouth. His gums are so swollen that his teeth are barely visible. His gums are bleeding and he is miserable. The Dr. said he has a form of herpes in his mouth and all that can be done is put Oragel on his mouth. My son is only 1 and a half and is in extreme pain. If any one can offer advice or suggestions on how to get rid of this I sure would appreciate it. Thank you

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Sounds like herpangina to me. My little girl (now 4) had this. It SUCKS! The only thing that helped, unfortunately, was time, magic mouthwash, ice cream (if he'll take it), and popsicles.

It is a rite of passage for children, I am finding.


Personally, I would get another doctor's opinion. There has got to be something to help him more than Orajel.

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Hi S.,

This is commonly known as fever blisters. The herpes virus can be passed from mother to child in utero so it's not like you could have helped it. It is however, evidence of a weak immune system and you knowing that, can help him. http://www.green999.com/lysine.htm gives some information on an essential amino acid that everyone should have. Some of us need more, at least at times. Has he been sick or stressed? That can affect him and cause them to appear. The blisters have nothing to do with a fever but after a fever the immune system is so weak that they have gotten the nickname.

Melaleuca oil will heal them up quickly and painlessly. I can talk to you more about it and give you details. My verizon cell is ###-###-####. I'd love to help give you some ideas on how to build his immune system quickly.

God bless!


1 mom found this helpful

I'm sure he is refering to HSV-1 which effects nearly everyone. It's one of those things where everyone carries it, but only certain people have "outbreaks." There isn't much you can do that I know of for inside the mouth. Reduce his stress and boost his immune. How much stress can a 1.5 y/o have? You'd be suprised! Really work on his immune system though, seriously. Make sure he has the opportunities to get enough rest, vitamins, and plenty of fluids!


Sounds like herpangina to me. My little girl (now 4) had this. It SUCKS! The only thing that helped, unfortunately, was time, magic mouthwash, ice cream (if he'll take it), and popsicles.

It is a rite of passage for children, I am finding.


Personally, I would get another doctor's opinion. There has got to be something to help him more than Orajel.

If you can trust him not to swallow too much, you can mix equal parts of benadryl and maalox for him to swish in his mouth- or you can paint it on his gums and in his mouth if he can't swish. You just don't want him to swallow large amounts. The benadryl helps numb the area and the maalox takes away some of the acidity that causes burning. It won't heal any faster, but it may take the edge off. Good luck!

Okay, sounds like everyone's advice is the same we'd have all heard , magic mouthwash, anbesol, kanka, etc. My Father in law suffered from excessive mouth sores for most of his adult life - hes in his 60s now. Sometimes he'd have more than 10 at a time! Dr.s for years said it was due to stress, foods, etc, and nothing worked, not even herpes meds. Until about 2 years ago. A doctor up in Maryland prescribed him FLONASE which is a cortico-steroid used for sinus/allergy issues. Something in these meds stops the sore as soon as it starts. Simply spray on the affected sore before it 'errupts' and it will halt the growth, minimise the pain and - well, make it better. As young as your son is, I'd ask a Dr first - but I tell you, our whole family uses this method now, and it is the only thing that my FIL swears by. Now instead of going days with pain so bad he can't eat, he sprays the FLONASE on the sore when he first feels it start, and has NO canker sores. It is worth telling everyone that I know. I will mention that this is a prescription drug, so make sure that you discuss it with your ped, or doc. If you want more info, I can try to get it for you. Good luck to you. Having a sore little mouth is hard on all of the family.

Hi S.,

I had the same thing happen to me as a little one like your son. I eventually outgrew the canker cores (after high school, when hormones leveled out).

I basically just used Anbesol from a small child onward. You could ask the doctor or dentist for a Xylocaine gel to numb the areas for him (this is sometimes used to swab on strep throat). There really wasn't anything to make the sore progress faster. I did notice that if I didn't drink orange juice or other acidic beverages / food, that I didn't get them as much. Also, being out in the sun brought on more sores as well.

There is a distinction between cold sores and canker sores, however. Is your doctor positive that he has cold sores, as he may simply have canker sores. Maybe you can determine this by reading below:

Canker sores are small sores or ulcers that appear inside the mouth. They are painful, self-healing, and can recur. Canker sores occur on the inside of the mouth, usually on the inside of the lips, cheeks, and/or soft palate. They can also occur on the tongue and in the throat. Often, several canker sores will appear at the same time and may be grouped in clusters. Canker sores appear as a whitish, round area with a red border. The sores are painful and sensitive to touch. The average canker sore is about one-quarter inch in size, although they can occasionally be larger. Canker sores are not infectious.

Canker sores are sometimes confused with cold sores. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus. This disease, also known as oral herpes or fever blisters, can occur anywhere on the body. Most commonly, herpes infection occurs on the outside of the lips and the gums, and much less frequently on the inside the mouth. Cold sores are infectious.

The exact cause of canker sores is uncertain, however, they seem to be related to a localized immune reaction. Other proposed causes for this disease are trauma to the affected areas from toothbrush scrapes, stress, hormones, and food allergies. Canker sores tend to appear in response to stress. The initial symptom is a tingling or mildly painful itching sensation in the area where the sore will appear. After one to several days, a small red swelling appears. The sore is round, and is a whitish color with a grayish colored center. Usually, there is a red ring of inflammation surrounding the sore. The main symptom is pain. Canker sores can be very painful, especially if they are touched repeatedly, e.g., by the tongue. They last for one to two weeks.

Canker sores are diagnosed by observation of the blister. A distinction between canker sores and cold sores must be made because cold sores are infectious and the herpes infection can be transmitted to other people. The two sores can usually be distinguished visually and there are specific diagnostic tests for herpes infection.

Since canker sores heal by themselves, treatment is not usually necessary. Pain relief remedies, such as topical anesthetics, may be used to reduce the pain of the sores. The use of corticosteroid ointments sometimes speeds healing. Avoidance of spicy or acidic foods can help reduce the pain associated with canker sore.

I hope this helps... let me know how your son is doing. I feel his pain :*(

Take care,

Hi S.,
My daughter had this when she was about 13 mos old. My Dr. told me to take liquid benadryl & moisten some gauze and rub it on her gums (not pleasant , but it did seem to numb up her mouth) We also did children's tylenol and motrin alternately to help ease the discomfort. Stay away from any acidic foods/juices and anything salty, all which aggrivates the sores. Also, if you take some mylanta liquid and put it on a qtip and dab it on the sores sometimes helps. Unfortunately, once they have a breakout, they are always going to have it in their system and have additional episodes.

I hope this helps. (On the first episode, I thought my daughter had hit her mouth or something because of her gums being so swollen, so I took her to a pediatric dentist and he was the one that had all of these great suggestions)
Good Luck

I would think that oragel would be useless and it seems strange that his doctor would only have that as a suggestion. I don't know anything about it but he sounds miserable....I would take him to another doctor or even a dentist!

S., I'm so sorry for the pain your son is going through.

When I have an outbreak of cold sores, the thing that works best for me is Lysine, vitamin C and zinc. The pain can go away in 20 minutes or less and if I take it every 3-4 hours, it stays away. They heal fast, too.

Lysine is an amino acid. I have to take it with food, or it gives me a bad stomach ache, though. I have given it to my children by crushing it up and putting it in some good tasting food like applesauce. Zinc can be overdosed on and I probably wouldn't give it to a child, just to be sure. I would just give them a regular children's vitamin for the zinc and the vitamin C.

I've been using the NOW brand of Lysine; the one that says "pharmaceutical grade." It works really well.

D. S, doula, mom of 5

Hi S.,
I am so sorry to hear about your son. I have never heard of it. I just wanted to write and say I hope he feels better soon and make two suggestions. Did you go to your pediatrician or an ENT. I would go to an ENT. You might want to also try a homeopothist/holistic medicine. Try going to an Herbal store for some direction on what to take or where to go to find a herbal specialist.

Take care, S.

I have two little ones that get cold sores when they get fevers and it's the same virus..so all I can suggest is the oragel except I'd call a ped dentist and see if they have any advise since all they do is work on the mouth and see if there's anything new or something some has had success with on that situation for that age...you may be surprised at what they have to offer in suggestions I know our ped dentist has some really great ideas on things my regular ped doctor is not always aware of. I know cold things are more appealing ice pops, soft foods not crackers or cheerios during my kids break outs.

Equal parts of water and Peroxide works magic. The hardest part it keeping a child that young from swallowing it. If you can get him to swish and hold for a few seconds, a few times, you will be amazed.

Bless his heart, I hope what ever treatment you choose, your precious angel will soon be better. Best of luck.

Is that the same thing as canker sores? I get those, and boy do they hurt, so I'm so sorry your little one is going through this. I do notice that I get them more often when I'm really stressed out, when I'm sick sometimes, or when I injure my gums somehow (like poking it with my toothbush). I usually use something like oragel, but it's not the best, and it hurts worse right away before it gets numb. I copied a couple of things I saw on a website...

"Dabbing a mixture of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide directly on the sore, followed by a bit of milk of magnesia, may reduce discomfort and speed healing.

Some doctors suggest putting wet black tea bags on sores. Black tea contains tannin, a substance that can relieve pain. You can also find tannin in some over-the-counter medicines."

A friend of mine at church has a son who gets these blisters like that too. She gives him meds for them. They are very painful but the medication helps....I'd get a second opinion. Poor baby doesn't need to suffer like that. I get them on my lips, especially if I'm in the sun or if my lips get to dry, and I take meds and it clears up in about 3 days. Mine are painful and so my heart goes out to your little one. I'll be praying that God would clear this up, in the meantime I'd still seek a 2nd opinion. God bless.


Hey S.: I remember reading one time that something like 90% of the population has this virus. It's not uncommon at all- anyone who's ever had a fever blister or cold sore (not canker sore) has herpes (not genital herpes, just oral herpes). Some contact-wearers have even got blisters in their eyes. Ouch!

As far as comfort goes- keep the sores clean and moist. Definitely contact a pediatric dentist for the latest in treating mouth sores. See if there's some OTC remedy that's supposed to speed up the healing and is safe for kids. If I remember correctly from health class, though, your only option for a "cure" is just to wait it out.

Poor baby! Kids put EVERYTHING in their mouths -- it's a wonder more little ones don't have oral herpes...

Do the Oragel for the discomfort and call the pediatrician about a non-lidocaine-containing Magic Mouthwash. (There's also one you can mix yourself with benadryl, mylanta and cepacol -- equal parts mixed together -- just paint the inside of his mouth with a cotton swab.) Why isn't the pediatrician giving your baby a prescription for liquid Acyclovir? I think I'd ask!

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