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Canker Sores in Children and How To Prevent And Treat Them

Child with a canker sore

Children’s teeth go through various stages, and as they grow, they may experience sores throughout the mouth. Canker sores are a relatively common problem experienced by children. Because children are going through various stages of growth, these sores can be painful and uncomfortable for them, but at the dental office, your dentist can effectively treat the issue. As dentists, it’s our duty to help treat oral problems and diagnose the potential causes of these diseases. For parents worried about their children, canker sores can appear scary at first, but we’re here to help define what causes canker sores to appear, what symptoms to look for, and how your dentist can potentially treat them.

An Overview of Children’s Canker Sores

Canker sores appear as round and small oval lesions inside the mouth. They mainly occur along the inside of the cheeks, lips, gum line, and under the tongue. In appearance, they appear to have a red edge with a gray, white, or yellow center. When touched or interacted with in any way, they can be painful, producing a sharp, burning sensation to the lesion. Canker sores, however, are not contagious. They can make it difficult for your child to speak and eat normally but normally heal within one to two weeks. These sores are often confused with cold sores, which look and act similarly to canker sores, but can also appear along the outside of the mouth and are caused by a viral infection from the herpes simplex virus.

Even while these sores will normally heal within a few weeks, these are the most common medical condition that affects the mouth. Affecting one in ten people, the causes of canker sores are currently unknown. Many researchers believe that these sores are inherited genetically but also believe that they can be caused by other various factors, including:

  • Vitamin Deficiencies: Some researchers believe that children with a vitamin or mineral deficiency, such as Vitamin B or iron, could contribute to these sores.
  • Hormone Changes: Hormones can affect how the body responds to bacteria, and thus canker sores can develop as a response to these changes.
  • High Amounts of Stress: Stress that’s often experienced by children can cause these lesions to develop.
  • Weak Immune System: Another common reason canker sores can develop is due to a weakened immune system. Weakened immune systems can occur, especially after a child’s recovered from an illness such as the flu.

Visit Your Dentist For Canker Sore Treatment

Canker sores can also be misdiagnosed as a rarer symptom from inflammatory bowel disease and Behcet’s disease. In many cases, symptoms of inflammation throughout the mouth from IBD can lead to sores that appear similar to canker sores but aren’t. In these cases, it’s essential to speak with your pediatric physician and dentist to diagnose your child’s condition to treat it effectively. If the sores have not gone away within two weeks, have changed in size and shape, and have increased in pain, visiting your dentist for solutions can help you find better ways of treatment.

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Dr. Beau Blankenship, DDS Under the guidance of Dr. Beau Blankenship, Sabal General Dentistry brings dental care to families in and around the Rockdale, TX area with over a decade of experience. As a dental surgery graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center, he focuses on building patient relationships that last a lifetime.

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