Shingles is a viral infection that can cause a painful rash. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, and it can affect any part of the body. Shingles in mouth is a common form of shingles, and it can be quite painful. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for shingles in mouth. We will also provide tips on how to prevent oral shingles from occurring.
What causes shingles in the mouth
Shingles in mouth are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox. When a person has chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. However, it can reactivate later in life and cause shingles. Shingles usually affects adults over the age of 50. However, it can also affect younger adults and children. The risk of developing shingles increases with age.
Symptoms of oral shingles
The most common symptom of shingles in mouth is a painful rash. This rash usually appears on one side of the face or neck. It can also appear on the tongue, gums, or roof of the mouth. The rash may also be accompanied by fever, headache, and fatigue. In some cases, the rash can lead to mouth sores.
There is no cure for shingles. However, there are treatments that can help to ease the symptoms. These include:
– Antiviral medications: These can help to reduce the severity and duration of the infection.
– Pain relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help to ease the pain associated with shingles.
– Cold compresses: Applying a cold compress to the affected area can also help to relieve pain and inflammation.
How long does it take to recover?
Most people recover from shingles within two to four weeks. However, some people may experience lingering pain for months or even years after the initial infection. This is known as post-herpetic neuralgia. There are several ways that can help recover faster from shingles, including :
– Taking antiviral medications: As we mentioned, these can help to reduce the severity and duration of the infection.
– Getting plenty of rest: It is important to get plenty of rest when you are recovering from shingles. This will help your body to heal more quickly.
– Eating a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet will also help your body to heal more quickly.
– Reducing stress levels: Stress can make the symptoms of shingles in mouth worse. Therefore, it is important to try to reduce your stress levels as much as possible.
– Practicing good hygiene: Finally, it is important to practice good hygiene when you have shingles. This includes washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with others who have the virus.
Preventing Mouth shingles From Recurring
There is no sure way to prevent oral shingles from occurring. However, there are some things that you can do to lower your risk. These include:
– Getting the chickenpox vaccine: This can help to prevent the virus from reactivating later in life.
– Avoiding contact with others who have the virus: If you are around someone who has shingles in mouth, it is important to avoid contact with them. This includes not sharing food, drinks, or utensils with them.
– Washing your hands: This is important in general, but it can help to lower your risk of catching the virus from someone else.
– avoiding stress: Stress can weaken the immune system, making it more likely for the virus to reactivate.
When to see your doctor or dentist
If you think you might have oral shingles, it is important to see your doctor or dentist right away. They can prescribe medication to help relieve the pain and other symptoms. In some cases, mouth shingles can lead to more serious problems, so it is best to get treatment right away. Contact Family Diagnostic Clinic today at 281-351-6800.