Some mouth ul­cers more wor­ry­ing than oth­ers

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - The Townsville Hos­pi­tal Pae­di­atric Team is: Doc­tors Siva Si­vayo­ganathan, Mar­got Bosan­quet, An­drew White, Vana Sabesan and Anne Miller. Email ques­tions to au or text 0416 905 534.

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.

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