Aphthous or herpetic stomatitis in children: causes, symptoms, treatment and grandmother's remedies
Stomatitis is a very annoying ailment, especially in children, who have less resistance to pain. It is a disease that affects the oral cavity and can also involve the gums, palate, tongue, cheeks and other internal areas of the mouth.
Stomatitis manifests itself with the formation of a series of whitish blisters that appear on the mucous membranes of the mouth. In some cases it can lead to fever, even a high one. There are different types, but the two main ones are the aphthous one and the herpetic one.
Herpetic stomatitis, also called Herpes simplex virus, originates from a virus and is therefore infectious, as opposed to aphthous one. If the first occurs between 6 months and 5 years, mainly affecting children who have never been exposed to herpes before, the second has its peak among children aged 10 to adolescence. Statistically, girls suffer from it more than boys.
Let's find out together what are the causes and symptoms of this pathology, if there is a danger of contagion and what is the best cure, from drugs to grandmother's remedies, without neglecting what to eat in these cases.
Aphthous and herpetic stomatitis in children: causes and symptoms
Stomatitis in children presents itself with quite evident manifestations: whitish areas, isolated or clustered vesicles form inside the oral cavity, which cause pain or simple discomfort.
In case of herpetic stomatitis, canker sores are often accompanied by a high fever that precedes its onset by one or two days. Other symptoms are canker sores on the gums or tonsils, tongue or soft palate, usually small (between 1 and 5 millimeters); white, swollen or bleeding gums; difficulty swallowing and loss of appetite; excessive salivation; swollen lymph nodes; bad breath.
Aphthous stomatitis, on the other hand, is heralded by burning and tingling in the mouth. The blisters appear initially with a red spot, and then become open ulcers as large as 1 centimeter.
As for the causes, herpetic stomatitis is caused by the HSV-1 virus, usually contracted in early childhood and which then always remains latent. Its appearance can be facilitated by the presence of irritation in the oral cavity. As for aphthous stomatitis, however, it is more complex to define the causes: it could be hereditary or due to emotional stress, strong anxiety, or even problems with the immune system or dietary deficiencies, especially those of vitamins B and C, folic acid. and iron. Here are some useful tips for feeding your baby:
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How long does it last? C "is contagion to be feared?
Herpetic stomatitis involves very painful ailments in the first 3-4 days. Within 6-7 days the fever disappears and herpes is considerably reduced, and then disappears completely within 15-20 days. Other types of stomatitis, on the other hand, do not last more than 3-4 days, and then lead to complete recovery within a week.
Only herpetic stomatitis is contagious: the virus can be transmitted through saliva or by direct or indirect contact with the child who contracted it. Be careful, therefore, not to use the same cutlery, the same linen and to avoid too much contact. Also, you will need to be careful that the child does not go and poke his bladder with his finger, as this could lead to the spread of the virus to the rest of the mouth or other parts of the body.
The infection can last from two days before the blisters appear until your child is completely healed.
The cure: antibiotic or other drugs?
Being a virus and not a bacterium, the antibiotic is certainly not indicated to cure stomatitis. Generally aphthous stomatitis passes by itself, without the need for any treatment.
In the case of herpetic somatitis, on the other hand, an antiviral therapy to be administered by mouth or intravenously may be useful, which reduces the intensity and duration of the problem. For this treatment to be truly effective, it must be started within 48 of its onset. of the infection and carried on for 5 days.
The antiviral is prescribed in case of primary herpetic somatitis and not for relapses: in these cases it is enough to apply ointments or use a natural remedy such as those we suggest below.
Grandma's natural remedies
The drug treatment, which must always be prescribed by a doctor, can be accompanied by some natural remedies. Aloe vera, with its anti-inflammatory and healing power, is perfect if spread on the blisters in the form of a gel.
Other natural solutions can be antiseptic formulas and ointments based on dog rose, copper, zinc, currant. Tea tree oil, as well as tea tree oil, is very useful for treating this ailment. To apply them, you can use a cotton swab.
Among the grandmother's remedies most loved by children, there is also that of chewing a licorice root, capable of accelerating the healing process. Finally, green light for vitamin C and live lactic ferments, as well as the consumption of propolis and honey.
What to eat in case of stomatitis?
Unfortunately, stomatitis can lead to loss of appetite and difficulty in swallowing. Don't worry, so if your child doesn't want to eat, that's completely normal - they want to avoid pain. In the most difficult days, therefore, serve him something fresh like milk or yogurt, but above all remember to always keep him well hydrated: water, fruit juices, but above all juices! When the blisters begin to heal, switch to semi-liquid foods that are easy to swallow, like a nice vegetable puree.
Since stomatitis is very often caused by vitamin C deficiency, always remember to never miss it: green light for broccoli, spinach, rocket, oranges, cherries, kiwis ... Browse our album to find out which foods are most supplied: