Is Herpes Curable on the Mouth?

Learn about the effects of oral herpes and how it can be managed with proper treatment and self-care strategies.

Is Herpes Curable on the Mouth?

There is no treatment that can completely eradicate the herpes virus from the body. Once you have been infected, it will remain in your system for life, even if you never experience another episode. Generally, an episode of oral herpes will go away on its own within a week or so.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes


However, proper management and treatment can make living with HSV-1 much easier. Genital herpes cannot be cured either, but medications are available to help prevent or shorten outbreaks. Taking a daily anti-herpetic medication may reduce your chances of transmitting the infection to your sexual partner(s). Genital herpes can cause painful sores and can be serious for those with weakened immune systems.

Most people contract oral herpes during childhood or early adulthood through non-sexual contact with saliva. In some cases, the virus may affect other parts of the body, such as the eyes or other areas of skin. Avoiding known triggers, such as stress or illness, can help reduce the frequency of herpes outbreaks. Neonatal herpes (at birth) can be very dangerous and put a baby at risk of blindness, brain damage, skin infections, and even death.

The exact triggers that cause oral herpes to return are not clear, but several factors may play a role. HSV-1 is usually responsible for oral herpes, which can cause cold sores or fever blisters in or around the mouth. If you have genital herpes, you may need to take antiherpetic medicines during the last part of your pregnancy. The best way to prevent oral herpes from spreading to others is to avoid sharing items such as cups, straws, eating utensils, toothbrushes and pipes.

Since oral herpes is spread through direct physical contact, the best prevention method is to avoid physical contact with a person's herpetic sores when an outbreak occurs. People who have open sores due to genital herpes are twice as likely to get HIV compared to those without herpes. Once you have contracted the herpes virus, it will remain in your nerve cells forever, even if you never experience any symptoms. However, with appropriate management and self-care strategies, oral herpes should not have a major impact on your life.

Having both HIV and genital herpes increases the chance of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner during oral, vaginal or anal sex.