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Herpetic gingivostomatitis is a common oral disease caused by viral infection that affects both children and young adults. It is characterized by the development of fever, headache, malaise, pain upon swallowing, drooling of saliva and regional lymphadenopathy. Within a few days the mouth becomes painful. The lips, tongue, buccal mucosa, palate and pharynx may also be involved. Shortly afterwards, yellowish fluid-filled vesicles develop. They rupture and form shallow, ragged, extremly painful ulcers covered by a gray membrane and surrounded by an erythematous halo. An important diagnostic criterion is the appearance of a generalised, acute marginal gingivitis. Patients present with a typical clinical picture of generalized symptoms followed by an eruption of oral vesicles, round shallow symmetrical oral ulcers, acute marginal gingivitis; those who do not have a history of recurrent herpes labialis are diagnosed as having primary herpetic gingivostomatitis. This is a self-limiting but distressing condition. Treatment involves routine supportive measures including acetaminophen for fever and fluids to maintain proper hydration and electrolyte balance. A topical anesthetic may be administered prior to meals.
Acylovir 200 mg five times a day for 5 days is recommanded for immunocompromised adults.


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