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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

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