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How to prevent mouth ulcers in children, experts share tips | Health


Mouth ulcers are quite common in children but can be quite distressing for those who regularly suffer from them. Small bumps on gums, lips or tongue can cause trouble in eating and drinking and some of them are also painful. Accidental biting, injury, nutritional deficiencies or viral infection could be some of the causes behind mouth ulcers in kids. They are also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers. While most mouth ulcers heal on their own, some of them require medication.

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers, can be a common occurrence in children(Freepik)
Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers, can be a common occurrence in children(Freepik)

“Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores or aphthous ulcers, can be a common occurrence in children. While the exact cause of mouth ulcers is not always clear, there are several factors that may contribute to their development,” says Dr Nehal Shah, Consultant Paediatrician, NHSRCC Children’s Hospital, Mumbai.

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Dr Mariya Kanchwala, Consultant, Dental Care, Max Hospital, Gurgaon says the most common oral ulcers in kids are traumatic ulcers and their causes can include fall or trauma with objects/toys, cheek/tongue bite and burns, trauma while brushing or eating hard foods or eatables.

Dr Sheetal Radia, Consultant Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck Oncosurgery, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road lists common causes of mouth ulcers in children.

Causes of mouth ulcers in children

Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, can be a common discomfort for children. Various factors contribute to their occurrence, including:

1. Trauma or injury: Accidental bites, sharp braces, or rough brushing can cause minor injuries, leading to ulcers.

2. Viral infections: Viruses such as the herpes simplex virus (HSV) can trigger mouth ulcers in children.

3. Nutritional deficiencies: Lack of essential nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, and folate can contribute to the development of mouth ulcers.

4. Food sensitivities: Certain foods, especially acidic or spicy ones, may irritate the sensitive mucous membranes in the mouth.

Prevention tips for mouth ulcers

“By avoiding the trauma by taking care while biting and brushing, giving soft foods to smaller kids. Nutritional deficiencies are also a factor in causing oral ulcers in kids specially Vitamin B12. One can fix this by taking good diet or nutritional supplements. Several infections like viral infection can cause mouth ulcers. Diseases like celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease can also be the reason. Good nutritional supplements and maintaining good oral hygiene can help so that the oral infection doesn’t come up,” says Dr Mariya Kanchwala, Consultant, Dental Care, Max Hospital, Gurgaon

Preventing mouth ulcers in children involves adopting proactive measures, says Dr Radia, as she shares tips to avoid mouth ulcers:

1. Maintain oral hygiene: Encourage regular and gentle brushing to prevent injuries and maintain overall oral health.

2. Healthy diet: Ensure a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

3. Hydration: Keep your child well-hydrated to support overall oral health.

4. Limit irritating foods: Identify and limit the consumption of foods that may trigger or worsen mouth ulcers.

5. Regular dental check-ups: Schedule routine dental visits to address any emerging issues promptly.

While occasional mouth ulcers are usually harmless and resolve on their own, persistent or severe cases should be evaluated by a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Nehal Shah says using a mild toothpaste without harsh chemicals, ensuring a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, helping your child cope with stress through relaxation techniques or activities they enjoy and ensuring a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to provide essential nutrients can help.


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