Local Dentist Warns of Influx of Oral Herpes in Children

Dr. Rick Nichols says that he usually only sees about one case every six weeks. This week, three patients came in on the same day with the virus.

A Redlands pediatric dentist warned this week of a recent influx of cases he's seen involving oral herpes.

According to Dr. Rick Nichols, who has ran Just for Kids Pediatric Dentistry for more than 18 years in Redlands, three young children came in on Monday morning with cases of the virus.

"This morning we had three children come to the office with an oral 
herpes out-break," his office wrote on Facebook on Monday to help spread the word.  "In eighteen years we have never seen that many cases of this problem in one day."

Nichols tells Patch that the children were all around preschool age, and had signs of a herpes infection, which can include red, sore gums or small sores.  Normally, he says, he only sees about 10 cases a year.

Though the virus may sound alarming, the doctor says it's very common that children are exposed to it.

"Most kids get exposed to this virus before the age of 6," he said.  "It’s not something that’s necessarily life-threatening, but it can be if it gets deep down in the throat or in the vocal cords.”

Nichols urged parents to be extra cautious when it comes to letting children share things like straws, spoons, sippy cups and pacifiers, as herpes is transmitted from person to person when an outbreak is present. 

"Hopefully this isn't an outbreak, but if it is, make sure your kids are washing their hands and parents are taking all the necessary precautions," he said.

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