Causes and remedies for recurrent painful mouth ulcers in children

An aphthous ulcer is an open sore on the mucus membrane that lines the inside of the mouth, and is probably the most common type of oral ulcer. There are numerous causes of these ulcers, and therefore identifying the factors at work in a particular case is usually quite difficult. However, the first possibility you need to look at is physical trauma. Often, an aphthous ulcer is simply caused physical trauma to the lining of the mouth – for example, biting one's cheek while chewing. However, such a problem would be quite obvious – your daughter would know when she has bitten her tongue, and this can therefore be ruled out quite easily. You should however look at other possible sources of physical trauma too – dental braces, eating hard, sharp edged foods such as wafers or toast, and carelessness when brushing teeth.

In some cases, a substance in the toothpaste itself may irritate the lining and cause ulcers. The most common culprit in such cases is sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), so you should check your toothpaste for this ingredient, and if necessary switch to a toothpaste that is SLS free. Allergies are also thought to cause aphthous ulcers in many cases, and it may help to maintain a diet diary for your daughter, in which you also keep track of ulcers. However, it will probably be quite difficult to connect any particular food with the ulcers, because ulcers do not promptly flare up and then disappear like rashes do. It may therefore be simpler and more effective to consult an allergy specialist, and get your daughter tested. Once her allergies are identified, you can either keep her away from those substances or begin anti allergy treatment.

Some experts believe that nutritional deficiencies contribute to the development of aphthous ulcers. Vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid are particularly important here. Vitamin B12 is not usually found in plant sources of food, and if your family or your daughter is vegetarian, it is advisable to at least consume milk products, packaged foods that have been fortified with vitamin B, or take supplements. Meat products are also the richest sources of iron, but green, leafy vegetables also contain an adequate amount of the same. Leafy vegetables and liver products are also rich in folic acid. Finally, ensure that your daughter gets enough sleep daily and is not stressed, as these factors also play a role in the development of ulcers. As for a remedy, a salt water gargle is the best, but if you want, you can try applying a small amount of liquorice root extract.

answered by G M

Mouth ulcers or aphthous ulcers are quite a painful condition. Mouth ulcers are quite well defined and they are round or oval sores that appear in the mouth. This is an extremely common condition that afflicts everyone at least once in their lifetime. Mouth ulcers occur more commonly in women and people under forty years of age. While isolated or single ulcers are not unusual some people experience recurrent ulcers, which can be extremely troublesome and painful. Recurrent ulcers could have a variety of causes and could even be the symptoms of some disorder or deficiency. One of the biggest causes of recurring mouth ulcers is hormonal changes, which is why it affects teenagers and pregnant women much more.

Other factors that could contribute to or increase the likelihood of developing recurrent ulcers would include oral trauma, which could be because of excessive and harsh brushing of the teeth, and chewing food items that are hard or sharp. Anxiety and stress are also believed to be another major cause of mouth ulcers. Another possible cause of mouth ulcers would include the consumption of certain types of foods. Family history also has a lot to do with the condition and if the parents or even one of the parents has a history of recurrent ulcers there's a good chance the child will inherit the problem. Some other common causes of recurrent ulcers are deficiencies and diseases like vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiency, chronic celiac disease, crohn's disease and reiter's syndrome. If the problem of recurrent ulcers in your child is attributed to any of the disorders or deficiencies then addressing and treating that disorder is the only way to solve the problem as the ulcers are just a symptom and not the disorder itself. Some other basic measure that can be followed to avoid the chance of getting ulcers would include eating a healthy and balanced diet, exercising regularly, and controlling stress and relaxing. Using a softer toothbrush could also help.

answered by G M

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