Gingivostomatitis is the result of the herpes simplex virus type 1 or HSV1, which can lead to a mouth and lip infection. It causes painful sores that can make it difficult to eat, drink, or swallow. Unfortunately, gingivostomatitis is transmitted through saliva and can affect toddlers and young children. It may occur after your child puts toys or other objects in their mouth, sucks their thumb, or shares utensils.

The most common symptoms of this condition include fever, swollen and bleeding gums, tiny vesicles on the lips, tongue, cheeks, and other areas of the mouth, appetite loss, bad breath, and sore throat. A doctor can easily diagnose gingivostomatitis by placing a cotton swab over your child’s sores.

If your child has this condition, their sores are likely red around the edges and have a yellow or gray color in the middle. In the event you believe your toddler or child has this condition, it is a good idea to take them to the doctor to confirm it. If they have it, a doctor will likely recommend a pain medicine like ibuprofen. A numbing medicine may also be suggested so that your child could eat and drink with less discomfort.

Since these sores can lead to a great deal amount of pain for your toddler or child, you should make sure they stay hydrated. Encourage your child to avoid putting their hands in their mouth or rubbing their eyes so that the virus does not spread. Washing your child’s hands frequently, gently brushing their teeth, and making sure your child get plenty of sleep is vital as well. Your child’s sores and swelling should subside on their own within one to two weeks.

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If you have further questions about gingivostomatitis in children, call our office today at 703-348-2813.