Mouth sores and ulcers are a common source of irritation, but they usually clear up on their own. However, parents may still want their kids to get checked out by a dentist to determine the exact nature of the infection and to learn how to provide pain relief in a safe manner.
Mouth ulcers are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is extremely common (90% of people have it). Children may get it through kissing or by sharing utensils, cups, or toys other people have had in their mouths. Nobody knows what causes cankers, but they are not contagious. However, recurring cankers may give cause to investigate if the child is suffering from allergies or a nutritional problem.
In any case, as long as the ulcer lasts, the child should brush their teeth gently and avoid food that is acidic (including tomato sauce), spicy, or salty. Many children prefer cool, easy to swallow foods, such as yogurt, when they are experiencing mouth pain. Our dentists can prescribe topical medicines if over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t doing the trick and instruct parents on how to use cotton swabs to apply them. Non-alcoholic mouthwashes can also help keep a child’s mouth clean without further irritating the sore.
Kidz Connextion Dental Care maintains offices around Phoenix. To find out more, visit our website at KidzConnextion.com.