Ask a Dentist

Q: Is it possible for shingles to spread to my mouth?

A: Shingles (also known as Herpes Zester) typically start on the left or right side of your torso, but it is possible for the virus to spread to other areas of your body, including your face and mouth. According to Statistics Canada, about 1 in every 3 Canadians will get the shingles virus. People over 60 years old, those with weak immune systems and anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated for chickenpox are at risk for shingles.Symptoms of mouth shingles may include mouth pain, sensitivity, chewing difficulties, appetite loss, increased risk of infection and open lesions. Other symptoms of shingles may include itching and tingling for a full week, stomach pain, fever, chills and headaches.If you think you may have shingles or are at risk for shingles, talk to your dentist. Your dentist may wait for any shingles blisters to heal over before doing a check-up. Early detection of shingles gives you a better chance of recovery. Routine antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory medications are typically prescribed.