Canker sores in infants, also known as stomatitis, are characterized by small sores in the mouth, usually yellowish in the center and reddish on the outside, which may appear on their tongue, on the roof of their mouth, on the inside of their cheeks, gums, mouth or throat.
This infection is caused by a virus and are painful, especially when chewing or swallowing, causing the baby to become irritated, crying, not wanting to eat or drink and get a good babe. In addition, they can cause fever, bad breath, difficulty sleeping, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Typically, canker sores disappear within 1 or 2 weeks, however, symptoms improve in about 3 to 7 days when treatment is done. The treatment can be done with painkiller medication, such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, guided by your Pediatrician and by following some cautions, such as offering liquids, preferably cold, for the child not to dehydrate.
Canker sores in babies and oral thrush are different infections because oral thrush is caused by a fungus and is characterized by white dots similar to milk that may also appear in any part of the mouth. Learn more about oral thrush in babies.
Treatment Options for Canker Sores in Babies
Typically, the symptoms of canker sores improve in about 7 to 14 days, however, there are some forms of treatment that can reduce discomfort and speed recovery. These include:
1. Medication for canker sore
The most commonly used remedies for treating canker sores are painkillers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which alleviate inflammation and pain that the canker sore provokes, reducing the discomfort felt by the baby.
These remedies should only be used with the guidance of a doctor, since the doses vary according to the child's weight.
2. Ointments for Canker Sores in Infants
An examples of baby ointment for canker sores are Aphthasol, Orajel or Orabase , which have a faster effect than painkiller remedies and stimulate healing. These ointments can be swallowed without it being a risk for the baby, but their effect disappears faster than oral remedies, since they need to be in contact with the sore.
3. Other home remedies
While the remedies have a great effect on relieving pain and speeding up treatment, there are some home-based cautions to ensure even more comfort for the baby, including:
- Offering water, natural juices or fruit vitamin, so the baby does not dehydrate;
- Avoid giving acidic and fizzy drinks to the baby, as it can worsen pain;
- Give cold foods without seasoning such as gelatin, cold soup, yogurt or ice cream, for example, as hot and spicy foods increase the pain;
- Clean your baby's mouth with a gauze or cotton cloth moistened in cold water to relieve the pain.
In addition, it is still important that during the treatment, the baby does not go to day care because it can transmit the virus to other children.