The symptoms of a first oral herpes infection include painful sores that develop inside of the mouth, preceded by the sensation of tingling, itching and discomfort at the affected site, explains Merck Manuals. Additional symptoms include fever, body aches and headache.
Recurrence usually causes the appearance of a single lesion around the rim of the lip, according to Merck Manuals. Some patients can develop a sore or a cluster of sores on the roof of the mouth. Recurring sores are usually preceded by the sensation of tingling, redness and soreness on the lip.
Oral herpes is an infection caused by certain strains of the herpes simplex virus, explains Mayo Clinic. Infected individuals with an active lesion can transmit the virus by kissing and by sharing eating utensils, towels and razors. After the lesions from the initial infection disappear, the virus lays dormant in the nerve cells of the skin. Stress, fatigue, menstruation and sun exposure can trigger the virus and cause recurring lesions.
Complications of a herpes simplex virus infection include fingertip infections, eye infections, organ infections and widespread skin infections, according to Mayo Clinic. Oral herpes infections typically clear up in two weeks without treatment. A doctor may prescribe oral or topical antiviral medications to shorten the healing time. Commonly used drugs include acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir, and penciclovir.