Some mouth ulcers more worrying than others
MY toddler has a sore inside his mouth that seems to bother him when he’s eating. Is this something I should seek further assistance with or is it a simple mouth ulcer that will heal itself? Mum of one
OCCASIONAL mouth ulcers with no other problems are common, and usually go away with no or little treatment.
They are due to a break in the delicate skin lining the inside of the mouth, called the mucosa. Your son most likely has an “apthous” ulcer, which may occur with low grade virus infection and improves by itself.
Treatment with anaesthetic gels that are rubbed into the area can help. These are bought over the counter at the chemist. If eating is a problem you may try using one of these before mealtimes.
Traumatic ulcers can occur from biting the inside of your cheek. These heal rapidly.
Diet is important for all parts of the body, including the mouth. Most children in Townsville have a varied, healthy diet. If your son has a restricted diet for some reason, consider dietary causes. Vitamin deficiency in B- group vitamins, iron, folate or zinc can cause mouth ulcers.
Oral thrush can lead to ulcers that persist. Treatment is with antifungal drops from the chemist.
More troublesome and severe mouth ulceration can be associated with viruses such as herpes simplex virus and hand foot and mouth disease. These tend to be smaller, deeper ulcers and can be very painful.
The child is unwell in other ways, typically with fever and rash. If severe enough the child will refuse to eat and drink.
Worrying signs to watch out for if your child has persistent ulcers include ulcers or bleeding from around the bottom ( rarely associated with inflammatory bowel disease), poor weight gains, abdominal pain, refusal of fluids and generally being unwell. These signs suggest you should see your family doctor for advice.