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Most acute infections appear with a fever and symptoms that appear in a short space of time.

The real truth is that there a number of acute mouth infections which present with very similar symptoms. In fact, most of these infections are self-limiting and only symptomatic treatment is required until our bodies recover enough to fight these infections themselves.

There are a few candidates that seem to be more likely than others to cause the above mentioned symptoms.


Fever, swelling and redness of the gums along with ulcers on the tongue seem to be indicative of a primary herpes infection. Popular media may have given you the impression that "herpes" is only a sexually transmitted disease, however that is not the case at all. There is a form of the herpes virus which is almost exclusively found above the torso. This is an extremely common infection -- up to 95% of the population is affected.

You may wonder why everyone you know has not had an active herpes outbreak then. While this is a valid question, the answer involves an understanding of immunology. The thing to remember is that our bodies react in different ways to the same virus because of intrinsic genetic factors.

A large percentage of infections are asymptomatic. Once infected, the body also develops immunity that prevents it from developing this infection again.

Mouth Ulcers

The treatment that is required will depend on the symptoms that have appeared. For a sore throat, you may be prescribed an antibiotic. Technically speaking, antibiotics do not act against viruses. They are effective against other classes of micro-organisms. Viral infections can weaken your immune system and allow bacteria to cause an infection. Hence the antibiotics.

Mouth ulcers are a particularly problematic condition for patients, which can lead to severe mouth pain.

Applying an antiseptic and pain relieving gel can offer relief, along with a Vitamin B capsule which will help accelerate the mucosal healing.

Gums can become red and swollen if plaque and tartar are present. The same thing happens here as in the case of a sore throat.

In normal conditions, the body is able to fight off the small amount of infection that is caused by the presence of plaque and tartar. When the immune system is under attack due to a viral infection, the body's resistance is markedly decreased.

In such conditions, the gums start showing signs of inflammation like redness and swelling.

Once the viral infection has subsided, a thorough scaling of the teeth should be done to remove the plaque and tartar.

Recurrent large and painful ulcers (Major Apthous Ulcers) can cause similar symptoms as well.

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