If your child has a small, painful lesion on the inside of your mouth, they may have developed a canker sore. Canker sores are usually white or gray, and they can appear anywhere on the soft tissue inside the mouth, including the tongue, the inside of the lips and the inside of the cheeks.
While canker sores aren't harmful and don't cause any permanent damage, they can be extremely painful, especially in children. A canker sore can cause a child to have difficulty eating and drinking normally, especially if it's on their tongue. If your child has developed a canker sore inside their mouth, read on to learn what causes them and how they can be treated.
What Causes Canker Sores in Children?
Canker sores are a result of the body's immune system mistakenly attacking healthy soft tissue inside the mouth, causing the cells to die off and creating an open sore.
There are multiple potential triggers that can cause this dysfunctional immune response. Hormonal changes, such as when a child enters puberty, can cause canker sores. Stress can also cause them. Some canker sores are triggered by a sensitivity to a specific food like cinnamon or wheat. Spicy or sour food can also lead to canker sores developing because it irritates the soft tissue inside the mouth.
How Are Canker Sores in Children Treated?
If your child's canker sore stops them from being able to eat, drink or speak normally, then it's a good idea to seek treatment from a family dentist. A family dentist can prescribe a numbing cream that can be applied to the canker sore to reduce the amount of pain your child feels from it. They can also prescribe a corticosteroid cream that reduces inflammation, which will help the canker sore heal quicker. Alleviating the pain from the canker sore and helping it heal quickly will allow your child to start eating and drinking normally again.
A family dentist can also work with you to identify the triggers that caused your child's canker sore. If a certain food caused the canker sore to develop, your child will need to avoid it in the future. Similarly, your child will need to avoid consuming spicy or sour food if that's what led to the canker sore. Identifying the triggers will help your child avoid developing another painful canker sore.
While canker sores aren't dangerous and will go away on their own, it's important to treat them if the pain interferes with your child's ability to eat and drink. Your child may not be able to get all the nutrition they need to grow if they're avoiding food because of the pain. If your child has an extremely painful canker sore, schedule an appointment with a family dentist in your area so that it can be treated.
For more information, contact a company such as Stanfield Dental.