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Mouth ulcers develop due to a virus infection. People of all ages can suffer from them but children are affected by them more often. Even after ulcers are cured they can reoccur. They occur again mainly due to canker sores or aphthosus stomatitis. The actual cause of mouth ulcers can only be properly discovered by the pediatrician. The pediatrician will consider the age of the child, the duration of the symptoms and certain other symptoms in order to be sure what the actual cause is.

Oral Hygiene in Children

Children can end up suffering from a variety of mouth infections and conditions.

Herpes gingivostomatitis is one such infection. The cause of this infection is the same virus that leads to fever blisters or cold sores. Herpes simplex virus is its name. Fever blisters outbreaks occur many times in life of a person who is infected with the virus in most cases but the first time a person gets this infection he or she will experience a classic herpes gingivostomatitis infection. A strong fever, irritability and tinny ulcers located inside the mouth and on the gums are the main characteristics of the infection.

Mouth ulcers can also develop due to a certain viral disease named hand foot and mouth disease. A virus called the Coxsackie is the cause of the disease. A child infected with it will develop tinny ulcers of red color inside the mouth but also on hands and feet. A rash often accompanies this disease as well. The same virus can also develop another condition called herpangina. The only difference between herpangina and hand foot and mouth disease is that the ulcers develop only in the mouth.

Apart from viral infections, bacterial infections such as gingivitis for instance can also cause the outbreak of mouth ulcers.

Infections are not the only factors that can lead to development of mouth ulcers and there are other factors like trauma, a side effect from chemotherapy, radiation therapy or certain drugs.

A symptomatic treatment is the best possible option when treatment of oral ulcers is considered. The medications used for the pain that is present due to oral ulcers will usually have ibuprofen or acetaminophen in them. In addition to this treatment option, doctors often advise the use of topical analgesics like 2% viscous lidocaine applied on the ulcers, Benzocaine preparations and Diphenhydramine elixir mouthwash.

Preventing oral ulcers is a possibility as well and the doctors agree that it is a better option than treatment. Almost every patient suffering from oral ulcers has certain triggers that cause an outbreak. If the trigger is found it needs to be avoided. Parents should keep a symptom diary as it is of great help. Since not always can triggers be discovered, the doctors advise the use of mouth rinse or toothpaste with triclosan. Making sure that the mouth never gets dry and avoiding the consumption of sharp foods such as pretzels can be helpful.

Importance of good mouth health

Good mouth health is essential if the child is to avoid suffering from certain conditions such as tooth decay, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking and early tooth loss, among other things. Baby teeth are later replaced with permanent teeth but that does not mean that the health of baby teeth should be neglected. The main reasons why that is so, is because healthy teeth are important for the overall health and well being of the child.

Baby bottle tooth decay is a condition that is seen quite often, especially when the teeth of the child are often in contact with sugars that can be found in liquid carbohydrates. Even breast milk can lead to this condition. Baby bottle tooth decay needs to be treated because otherwise it leads to pain and problems with chewing and eating. There are ways for this problem to be avoided however. When the baby is restless during the day, the parent should give it a bottle filled with plan water instead of milk or sugary liquids. The pacifier must never be dipped into honey or sugar. Adding sugar to the child’s food needs to be avoided. When wiping the child’s teeth and gums after eating, parent should always use a wet cloth.

Thumb sucking is seen in almost every child but it can lead to some serious problems. The teeth can be pushed out of alignment. If that happens, the teeth will protrude and an overbite will appear. Pronunciation of certain words can become a problem in the future due to thumb sucking.

Thumb thrusting is another way a child can push the teeth out of alignment. A speech pathologist should be consulted at the first signs of tongue thrusting.

In addition to these problems, there are two more which occur in children quite often. Lip sucking can lead to the same problems as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. Early tooth loss is usually seen because of tooth decay, injury or lack of jaw space.

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