Cold Sore inside Mouth: Meaning, How do you get, Symptoms, Stages, Causes, Treat

Can you get cold sore inside mouth? Get more insights on the meaning, symptoms, causes and treatment.

What is a Cold Sore?

Cold sore is small blister-like lesions which are painful that appear on the lips, nostrils, chin and even on cheeks. They occur less frequently on the mouth roof and gums. The sores are fluid-fill blister that result to burning sensation when they are about to burst and crust over after few days.
Tiny blisters caused by cold sore inside mouth usually clear up within a period of seven to ten days. The infection is highly contagious and can be transmitted from one person to another through direct contact.
Could sores are caused by virus which cannot be destroyed completely by body immune system hence infection keep on recurring. The known causes of cold sore inside the mouth is the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Individuals with oral herpes are more vulnerable to cold sores.
HSV-1 virus can cause serious infection in people with weak immune system as a result of other illness leading to more painful small blisters on the lips or inside the nostrils.

Cold Sore Stages

Cold sores are characterized by five stages;

  • Tingling
  • Blistering
  • Weeping
  • Crusting
  • Healing

Stage1: tingling
These are the first stage and signs of cold sore to develop on the skin. If you feel tingling on the mouth, know that cold sore is about to attack you. The skin around the mouth also gets some burns which are very itchy.
During this stage of the cold sore, it is easily to control further development of the cold sore inside the mouth through appropriate medication. Some of tropical treatment for this stage of cold sore includes;

  • Penciclovir
  • Acyclovir
  • Doscosanol

These drugs should be prescribes only by an expertise
Stage 2: blistering
Blisters develop on the mouth after one day of tingling. The blisters are then filled with fluid that appears on the surface of the skin. The skin under the blister then turns red. The lesion may develop on the side of the mouth, inside the nostril and inside the mouth to the throat.
Blistering stage is very painful and can cause more discomfort especially when eating hot food or taking salty food.
During this stage of cold sore, avoid the consumption of acidic food or salty food that can increase the irritation of the blisters.
Stage 3: weeping
The cold sore breaks to leave open sores on the skin. At this stage the cold sores are very infective and can also allow the infection of bacterial infection on the skin.
Precaution should be taken by the patient to prevent more spread of the cold sores.
Stage 4: crusting
These stage Comes after the weeping stage. Cold sores dries up to form yellow crust on the skin.
Stage 5: healing
These are the final stage of the cold sores. The crusted blister scabs over slowly without the formation of scars on the skin.

How do you get a Cold Sore

Cold sore inside mouth is caused by herpes simplex virus type1 (HSV-1). The virus can be transmitted from one person to another through saliva directly or by sharing same glass or a cup with infected person having cold sore virus.
Herpes simplex virus is spread from one individual to another by kissing process or other close contact with the sores. Apparently a normal skin shedding the virus can infect other people. The most contagious time of infection is when an individual has active sores on the mouth. When the cold sores have dried up and crusted, the risks of spreading the infection are reduced.
HSV-1 virus can also be spread when the sores are not present. Contaminated surfaces with virus can also spread this infection.
Sharing of towel and washcloth with infected person can also encourage the spread of herpes simplex virus.
Alternatively the virus can be passed from one person to another through skin contact with infected person. The virus has the ability to penetrate through skin pores into the body system of an individual. The virus gets into body nerves and remains inactive in a place called ganglion that form a collection of nerve cells.
During active stage of the virus, it multiplies and moves through the nerve fiber to the skin surface where it causes the development of cold sores.
HSV-1 virus takes duration of one week in the body before the first symptoms of cold sore to appear on the lips.
During first infection the virus gets into the body system and remains dormant for some some people the virus become active immediately and cause blisters on the lips. The virus becomes active in the presence of the cold or fever resulting to painful small blisters-like lesion on the lips or inside nostrils.
Individual with strong body immune system may get the virus but no symptoms of cold sore will be observed. For such scenario the cold sore virus is suppressed by strong body immune system hence the virus remains dormant for most of the time of their life span. Individual with strong body immune system will never suffer from cold sore inside mouth.
Presence of mental and emotional stress can also result to cold sore outbreak. Illness and trauma to the lips as a result of dental treatment can cause blisters on the lips.
Exposure to sun can also lead to faster spread of the herpes simplex virus that can attack the eyes, skin of the figures and even gets into genitals though most of genital herpes are as a result of herpes simplex virus type2 (HSV-2)

Can you get cold sore on the inside of mouth?

For most cases, the border of the lips is the common places where cold sores may appear. Occasionally the cold sore may occur inside the mouth. People with weak body immune system are likely to have cold sore inside their mouth.
For people with weakened body immune system, cold sore can cause serious damage of the mouth which extends to the roof of the mouth. Gums may also be affected by cold sore by developing red lesion that forms ulcers.
Sometimes the tongue may also be affected by presence of herpes simplex virus that may lead to development of tiny blister. The blister can result to pain and irritations of the tongue that make someone feel a discomfort in the mouth.  Infection of the tongue by cold sore may result to loss of taste and appetite.
Cold sore infection can also attack the throat leading to open sores at the back of the mouth. Throat infection as a result of cold sore inside mouth may result to difficulties in swallowing food or saliva.
Cold sore can also attack the inside the cheeks on mouth cavity that develop to red lesion that appear like mouth ulcers.
Some people may experience a slight attack of cold sore on the mouth region which may be seen as less harmless to them while others may face intense attack of the cold sores that dominate the whole mouth with open sores that require special attention from medical service.
Cold sore and canker sore are two ailments that can confuse someone to tell because both of them occur near the same location. Canker sore usually occurs inside the mouth and also affect is advisable to identify the type of the sores inside the mouth in order to go for right treatment.

Cold Sore inside Mouth Symptoms

What are the symptoms of cold sore inside the mouth? Many people may have herpes simplex virus but no indication of symptoms; they only discover they are infected after cold sore inside the mouth appears.
For young individual who have not yet build up body defense mechanism by production of antibodies, they have severe symptoms that affect them more.
The following are some of the symptoms observed to people infected with HSV-1 virus after duration of one week of infection;

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever , high body temperature
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lips
  • Pain on the tongue
  • Difficulties in swallowing food and saliva
  • Blister like lesion on the tongue
  • Open sore on mouth.

Cold sore develops in different stages when it recurs. The initial sign of cold sore is a tingling, burning or itching that occurs around the mouth. The swelling starts to appear which turn red. Within a period of 24 to 48 hours, a tiny blister develops. The sore get filled with fluid as irritation and pain increases. The swollen sores breaks and the fluid ooze out. A yellow crust appears on top of the blisters and scab off to leave pink skin that heals without forming a scar.

Cold Sore inside Mouth Causes

Having a mouth sores can be attributed to be caused by biting your tongue or lips that develop into painful ulcers. Also attempting to take hot food and drinks can cause burning of skin inside the mouth that can develop into sores. Consumption of more acidic foods and drinks can cause formation of sores inside your mouth.
Cold sore inside the mouth is caused by infection of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) that are more contagious. The virus can stay in the body for long period of time after the initial infection in the dormant state but can reappear any time as cold sores.
The virus can be triggered to develop cold sore inside mouth by the following factors;

  1. Stress

Stress can mess up with body emotions resulting to wearing down of body defense mechanism giving a cold sore virus an opportunity to develop and attack the body. When you feel stressed, HSV-1 virus gets easily activated to cause cold sore inside the mouth.

  1. Cold weather condition

Facing a lot of cold can encourage the activation of herpes simplex virus in the body system to develop cold sore on lips. Winter condition stimulate the development of cold sores hence the infection are associated with winter.

  1. Long exposure to sunlight

Long exposure to ultraviolet light, not only damage your skin but also triggers the development of cold sore. The herpes simplex virus becomes activated to cause cold sore when exposed to sunlight

  1. Weakened immune system

When you are having weak immune system as a result of other infection like HIV virus make it more susceptible to be attacked by cold sore on the mouth.

  1. fatigue

These are another cause of cold sore on the lips. General body fatigue activated HSV-1 virus in the body system to develop cold sores.

  1. Change of body hormone during menstruation cycle.

Hormone imbalance as a result of menstruation process can lead to body stress that activates HSV-1 virus to develop cold sores

  1. Trauma on the skin

People experiencing dental treatment that cause trauma on the skin of the mouth have been reported to develop cold sore. Trauma on the skin activates HSV-1 virus that are dormant in the nerve system to develop cold sores on the mouth region.
From medical research, people infected with oral herpes are more susceptible to development of cold sore inside mouth. Herpes simplex virus can stay in the body system of a person for many years in inactive stage.
The HSV-1 virus when stimulated by one of the factors, it causes cold sore to appear for one or two weeks before it clears. The virus can cause several outbreak of cold sore to a person from time to time and it stay in the body system for many years.

Cold Sore inside Mouth Treatment

It is advisable to identify the type of the sores in your mouth in order to go for right medication. Administering the right medicine can help to heal cold sore faster and reduce pain and irritation of the blisters.
The know medicine for treatment of cold sore are acyclovir (zovirax), famciclovir and Val acyclovir. These drugs can not eliminate the virus completely out of the body but they help to reduce the development of more sores on the lips. The drug are taken when you feel cold sore are about to appear.
The best time to take this drug is when the blisters have not developed on your lip. It prevents the sore from popping up in the first place.
Ensure the affected area is clean and apply lip balm applied to moisturize the skin. Avoid touching the infected area with figures or avoid picking of crust on sores.
When having blisters and sores on your lip, avoid kissing anyone to reduce more injuries of the affected area. Kissing also encourage spread of the infection to the partner.
Cold sore inside mouth is common and not dangerous to many people because it takes one week to be healed. For people with weakened body immune system, HSV-1 virus can cause serious health is advisable to consult your physician if;

  • Sore inside the mouth persist for longer than one week time.
  • your body has a fever
  • Sores are too painful and make you difficult to move lips.
  • In case of second outbreak of infection.

After visiting your medical doctor, several test will be done, finally you will be given right medical description that can help you to have faster relieve of the cold sore inside mouth.
Antiviral cream that contain acyclovir or penciclovir such as zovirax can be used for faster relieve of pain and irritation of the cold sore. The cream helps to reduce symptoms but cannot be used to eliminate the virus.

Val acyclovir, acyclovir or famciclovir are example of an oral antiviral medication that stops the outbreak of the cold sore inside mouth. The drug is used by patient who has once been attacked by the outbreak of cold sore infection to prevent future outbreak.
Over the counter creams are also available like Bonjela, Blistex to reduce pain and discomfort caused by cold sore infection. These creams do not contain antiviral medication but help to dry up cold sores to initiate healing process.
Painkiller containing paracetamol may also be used to alleviate pain. Liquid pain killer are available for younger patients. Pregnant women affected by cold sore should make consultations from the doctor before treatment.
Alternatively, if you develop cold sore inside mouth, follow the general advice for treatment;

  • Take a lot of fluid to reduce dehydration of the body tissue
  • Avoid hot or acidic food.
  • Use antiseptic mouthwash to clean your teeth.
  • Avoid rubbing the sores using your fingers.
  • Clean your hand using soap before and after using cold sore creams.
  • Avoid sharing of utensils and hygiene products like wash cloth.
  • Eat a balance diet to boost body immune system
  • Take enough rest and sleep to reduce body stress

Cold sore generally clears up itself within a period of ten days. If sores persist for more than two weeks consult your physician.