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Mouth Lesions In Children

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What is a mouth lesion?

A mouth lesion is damaged tissue that may have a change in normal color. It may look like an ulcer, a raised bump, or sore. Your child may have one or more mouth lesions that may be painful.

What causes a mouth lesion?

The cause of your child's lesion may be unknown. A mouth lesion may be caused by trauma from biting the inside of his mouth or brushing his teeth and gums too hard. It may also be caused by a retainer or braces that rub against parts of his mouth. A viral, bacterial, or fungal infection can also cause a mouth lesion. Mouth lesions may be a side effect of certain medicines.

How is a mouth lesion diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will ask when you or your child noticed the lesion and if the lesion's appearance has changed. He will also ask if your child has any other symptoms such as a fever, headaches, or chills. Blood tests may show if your child is at higher risk for mouth lesions. Your child's healthcare provider may rub a cotton swab on one of the lesions and check it under a microscope. He may also send a sample of a lesion to a lab for tests.

How is a mouth lesion treated?

Your child's mouth lesion may go away on its own. Tell your child's healthcare provider about any medicines your child takes. Treatment depends on the cause of your child's lesion. If an infection has caused his mouth lesion, he may need medicine to treat it. He may also need any of the following:

  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much your child should take and how often he should take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • A mouth rinse, gel, or spray may be given to relieve pain. A mouth rinse may be given to help keep your child's mouth clean, or to prevent infection.

How can I manage my child's mouth lesion?

  • Encourage your child to clean his mouth regularly. Your child should brush his teeth, gums, and tongue after he eats and before he goes to sleep. He should use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Encourage your child to drink liquids and eat regular meals. Mouth lesions can be painful and make it hard for your child to eat and drink. Your child should continue to drink liquids as directed to prevent dehydration. Ask how much liquid he should drink each day and which liquids are best for him. He should also eat regular meals. Do not give your child food or drinks that irritate his mouth lesion. These include drinks or foods that are spicy, salty, or acidic. Examples include orange juice, lemonade, potato chips, or oranges.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your child has severe mouth pain that is preventing him from eating or drinking.
  • Your child has symptoms of dehydration such as the following:
    • Dark urine or urinating little or not at all
    • Dry mouth and lips
    • Crying without tears

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

  • The mouth lesion gets larger.
  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child develops new symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, a rash, or joint pain.
  • Your child regularly has mouth lesions.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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