Aphthous stomatitis is an illness that causes small ulcers to appear in the mouth, usually inside the lips, on the cheeks, or on the tongue. Aphthous ulcers are also known as "canker sores."
The exact cause of this disease is not known. However, there are many factors that are thought to be involved with the development of canker sores, including:
Aphthous stomatitis is usually seen in children and adolescents from the ages of 10 to 19 years. For about one-third of the children affected, lesions continue to reappear for years after the initial outbreak.
These ulcers are not contagious and cannot be spread from one child to another.
The following are the most common symptoms of aphthous stomatitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Aphthous stomatitis is usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your child. The lesions are unique and usually allow for a diagnosis simply on physical examination. In addition, your child's doctor may order the following tests to help confirm the diagnosis and rule out other causes for the ulcers:
Specific treatment for aphthous stomatitis will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
The goal of treatment for aphthous stomatitis is to help decrease the severity of the symptoms. Since it is not a viral or bacterial infection, antiviral medications and antibiotics are ineffective. Treatment may include:
It is especially important for your child to avoid spicy, salty, or acidic foods, which may cause further mouth irritation.
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