Primary Herpetic Gingivostomatitis in an Adult Patient Using an Orthodontic Appliance

Acute (primary) herpetic gingivostomatitis (AHGS) typically affects children, but rarely, this infection also occurs in adults. Because of the limited symptoms, a dentist may be the first health care practitioner consulted (Chauvin & Ajar, 2002). It is therefore important for dentists to be able to recognize the condition. The causative agent for AHGS has been identified as the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV is a double-stranded DNA virus and is a member of the human herpes virus (HHV) family officially known as Herpetoviridae (Corella Sanchez & Reyes Diaz, 1988; Dohvoma, 1994; Gandara-Rey et al., 2004).

The virus exists in 2 forms, HSV-1 (or HHV1) and HSV-2 (or HHV-2). Most oral, facial and ocular infections result from HSV-1, whereas HSV-2 accounts for most genital and cutaneous lower body herpetic lesions. Orogenital contact may allow either serotype to cause oral or genital lesions. The 2 forms of HSV have a similar structure but differ in antigenicity, although HSV-2 is reputed to be of greater virulence (Chandrasekar, 1999).