Acute (primary) herpetic gingivostomatitis is when you 1st get an outbreak of herpetic lesions; this coincides with the 1st encounter of your body with the herpes virus. The majority of cases of primary herpetic gingivostomatitis occurs between the ages of 1 and 5. But know that as many as 80% of patients do not experience any symptoms.
Herpetic infections cannot be cured, not yet at least, so what we aim with treatment is to control symptoms and prevent outbreaks.
A person with an intact immune system usually recovers fully from a herpes outbreak within 1-2 weeks. Topical therapy, such as acyclovir 5% cream and ointment, penciclovir, and over-the-counter docosanol 10% cream are effective in shortening the time period to full recovery and the
duration of symptoms of recurrent herpes labialis.
Some investigational therapies to shorten healing time and reduce pain and irritation include:
- Waveband light
- Rhubarb-sage based cream
- Zinc oxide/glycine combination cream
Famciclovir is another drug that has been shown to be as effective as acyclovir in preventing the appearance of new lesions, and the dosing of this drug is less frequent. The use of prophylactic acyclovir (to prevent outbreaks) is still controversial. Protecting the lips from ultraviolet exposure with sunscreen also is beneficial in preventing oral herpetic outbreaks.