Dental Procedures May Lead to Herpes Reactivation and Hospitalization

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dentists and herpes

Severe herpes outbreaks may occur after dental procedures. – The journal Clinical Oral Investigations (1)

Dental work, such as having a molar tooth removed, increases the risk of having a severe oral herpes outbreak. Oral herpes outbreaks include fever blisters and cold sores.

They can also lead to hospitalization.

As a recent study said, “Sometimes, HSV-1 infections after dental extractions may be particularly severe and extend beyond the usual site of recurrence.” (1)

Additionally, the study said that “Orolabial HSV-1 infections have been reported following dental procedures. Sometimes, they may be particularly severe, requiring hospitalization and intravenous antiviral therapy.” (1)

As Dr. Hayderi and colleagues wrote, “Reactivation from latent herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection in the trigeminal nerve ganglia causes infraclinical (recurrence) or clinical (recrudescence) recurrent herpes labialis (RHL) … RHL may occur after dental procedures, prosthodontic treatments, surgery of the oral cavity and orofacial fractures, and neurosurgical procedures of the trigeminal ganglia.” (1) Dr. Hayderi is from the Department of Dermatology at the University Medical Center Liège in Belgium.

The study went on to note that the time period between dental work and a herpes outbreak is usually around three days.

herpes reactivation

Our data do not support
to recommend antiviral prophylaxis before dental procedures. (1)

In another study from the Journal of the American Dental Association, HSV shedding increased from 7.9 to 27 % after dental procedures. (2) This means that the numbers of patients with active herpes infections actually triples after dental procedures.

Some studies propose using oral valaciclovir as a preventative therapy before dental interventions. The authors of the study mentioned above, however, wrote that their data  “do not support to recommend antiviral prophylaxis before dental procedures.” (1)

Thus, it seems apparent that newer, more effective herpes treatments and remedies must be developed and placed on the market.

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