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Mouth Ulcers in Children - Keep Kids Healthy Symptom Guide

Younger children often get mouth ulcers as part of a viral infection, like herpes gingivostomatitis or hand foot and mouth disease. In older children, recurrent ulcers are often caused by canker sores or aphthous stomatitis.
Your child's age, duration of symptoms (how long the ulcers have been there), and other symptoms can help you and your Pediatrician figure out what is causing your child's mouth ulcers.
•Herpes Gingivostomatitis - this is an infection caused by the herpes virus, which is the same virus that cause fever blisters or cold sores (herpes labialis). Although some people get cold sores over and over, the first time you get this infection, instead of just getting a few vesicles on your lips, you get the classic herpes gingivostomatitis infection, with high fever, irritability and small, painful ulcers on the child's gums and inside his mouth.
•Hand Foot and Mouth disease is another viral illness that causes mouth ulcers. It is caused by the Coxsackie virus and children with this infection usually get small red ulcers in their mouth and on their hands (palms) and feet (soles). These children can also sometimes get a rash on their legs and buttocks.
•Herpangina - is similar to hand foot and mouth disease, except that the ulcers are just in the child's mouth. It is also caused by the Coxsackie virus.
•Bacterial infections, like gingivitis.
•Geographic Tongue - also called benign migratory glossitis, can look like a large ulcer, with a smooth pink or red area on the tongue with a raised border. It is not usually painful though and no treatment is necessary.
•Oral ulcers can also be caused by trauma, as a side effect of chemotherapy, radiation and certain drugs, especially Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

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