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If you are wondering, “How do I know if I have mouth herpes?” recognizing signs and symptoms will help you determine the right treatment. Whether it is your first outbreak or one of many, it can be difficult to tell exactly where you contracted oral herpes and how long your symptoms will last.

Common Questions and Answers about Mouth Herpes

How Do I Know If I Have Mouth Herpes?

Oral herpes is an infection of the lips, mouth, or gums due to the herpes simplex virus. It causes small, painful blisters commonly called cold sores or fever blisters. As many as 50% to 80% of adults in the U.S. have oral herpes.

What Causes Mouth Herpes?

When people hear the word “herpes,” they might only think of the sexually transmitted disease. However, there are different types of the herpes virus. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) causes cold sores and fever blisters, while herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) causes genital herpes.

How Does it Spread?

Oral herpes is transmitted through direct contact between the infected person’s contagious area and another person’s mucous membrane tissue, such as the mouth or genitals. If a cut is present, the virus enters through broken skin. However, a person does not have to be showing any symptoms to transmit mouth herpes.

What are Effective Treatments for Mouth Herpes?

While there is no cure for herpes, home remedies and medication can help a painful outbreak of mouth herpes. Home remedies include:

  • Applying ice or a warm washcloth to the sores to help ease pain.

  • Washing the blisters gently with germ-fighting (antiseptic) soap and water. This helps prevent spreading the virus to other body areas.

  • Avoiding hot beverages, spicy and salty foods, and citrus.

  • Gargling with cool water or eating popsicles.

  • Rinsing with salt water.

  • Taking a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

If you need to seek medical treatment or want answers to the question, “How do I know if I have mouth herpes?” come to FastMed. Our friendly medical professionals can help you determine if you have mouth herpes and recommend a treatment plan to have you feeling better fast in no time.

About FastMed

FastMed Urgent Care owns and operates nearly 200 centers in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas that provide a broad range of acute/episodic and preventive healthcare services 365 days a year. FastMed also provides workers’ compensation and other occupational health services at all its centers, and family and sports medicine services at select locations. FastMed has successfully treated more than six million patients and is the only independent urgent care operator in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas to be awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for quality, safety and infection control in ambulatory healthcare. For more information about locations, services, hours of operation, insurance and prices, visit

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