Mouth ulcers are very common in adults but this can happen with children as well. While adults are easy about them, children get panicky which causes much distress for parents especially, when its first-time experience of mouth ulcers for them. Mouth ulcers can heal themselves in some time but till the time they stay, it is a tough situation to handle for parents. In this article, we will talk about mouth ulcers in children, why they are caused and how to prevent & treat them. So, if you are a parent, you must read all the information as it will help you in handling the situation whenever it comes.
What Are Mouth Ulcers?
First things first, mouth ulcers are lesions or cuts that are formed inside the mouth be it on the tongue, gums or even lips. Mouth ulcers are also called canker sores. There are various reasons behind the formation of mouth ulcers ranging from vitamin deficiencies to infections to oral injuries. Scroll down to read different types of mouth ulcers in children and their causes.
Types of Mouth Ulcers
There are mainly three types of mouth ulcers differentiated on the basis of their appearance and severity.
Minor Mouth Ulcers- As the name suggests, these are minor or small ulcers that get healed within a couple of weeks without causing a lot of discomfort. These do not cause scarring.
Major Mouth Ulcers- These are relatively bigger than minor ulcers and are more painful and deeper. These may take several weeks in healing and may also cause scarring.
Herpetiform Ulcers- These are non-contagious ulcers that are caused due to herpes infection. These are highly painful and require medical intervention to heal completely and rapidly. Children can get these ulcers if they have herpes and they should be provided immediate medical aid.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers in Children?
Here are some common causes of ulcers in children:
- Injury to the mouth
- Genetics or Family history of mouth ulcers
- Vitamins and mineral deficiencies
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Food allergies that can trigger ulcers
- Using hard toothbrush that may cause oral injury and lead to ulcers formation
Toddlers or little children cannot explain to their parents the problem they are experiencing. So, it becomes a parent’s duty to find out the reason behind their discomfort. Thus, watching out for signs of mouth ulcers is very important. If you see swollen mouth with a round sore with or without pus, it could be ulcer. Similarly, bleeding while eating something also indicates that something is not right with your child’s oral health. If your child is not eating properly and complaining of pain, it could be due to mouth ulcers. Thus, you must see it yourself and get it checked from paediatrician, if required.
How to treat mouth ulcers in children?
In most cases, mouth ulcers heal on their own and you do not need to provide any special treatment to aid them. However, in case of major ulcers, getting medical treatment is necessary. Apart from that, here are some tips to soothe the pain and inflammation caused by ulcers:
- Do not give hot foods to your child. Feed only cold, soft foods.
- Avoid adding spiced to their food as it might trigger irritation and inflammation.
- Ask for a soothing gel or ointment from your paediatrician to provide comfort.
If your child is suffering from acute pain due to ulcers, you must get him/her checked by a doctor. They may prescribe medication to reduce pain and swelling. Do not give any medicine to your child without checking with the doctor.
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