Around 5% to 10% of children in the UK suffer from mouth ulcers that keep coming back.  As the mouth is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, when children get mouth ulcers, the pain and discomfort can be very irritating.
What are the main causes?
There are lots of things that can cause mouth ulcers in children, but they usually occur due to damaging their mouth, for example when they accidentally bite the inside of their cheek, chew something rough which can cut their mouth, or catch their cheek or lip on a sharp tooth or filling. They can also develop because they are feeling tired, generally unwell or run down, or because they are wearing braces.
It could be that some children often have mouth ulcers because it runs in their family.  Their diet can play a part too, and there are certain foods that may cause mouth ulcers, including:
- wheat flour
Sometimes, mouth ulcers keep coming back due to a lack of vitamin B12 or iron, or a medical condition such as Coeliac or Crohn’s disease, or any condition where your immune system is suppressed.
What are the symptoms?
A mouth ucler is:
- round or oval in shape
- white, red, yellow or grey in colour
- swollen arount the edge
Most mouth ulcers appear on the:
- inside of the lips
- inside of the cheeks
- floor of the mouth
- under surface of the tongue
It's rare to get a mouth ulcer on the roof of your mouth.
What are my treatment options?
Most mouth ulcers don’t need any treatment and will heal on their own if they’re not interfering with your child’s daily activities. If they’re painful, however, a local pharmacy will have suitable medicines without a prescription. Make sure the medicine is suitable for your child's age.
What can I do about it?
The main goal for treating your child’s mouth ulcer is to relieve their pain and discomfort. There is a product in the bonjela range, suitable for children over 3 months, as well as adults and the elderly.
- Make sure that your child cleans their teeth properly and take them to visit the dentist regularly
- Supervise your child brushing their teeth until the age of 7 or 8, or when they are able to brush them properly on their own.