canker sores

How to treat canker sores in children

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Canker sores are small and surface lesions that develops on the soft tissues in the mouth or at the bottom of the gums. They cause pain and make it difficult to talk and eat. The canker sores are typically white or yellowish and bordered by red and inflamed tissue.

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A canker sore can be categorized as simple or complex. Simple canker sores recur about 3-4 times every year which are usually common in children starting 10 up to 20 years old in adults. Complex canker sores are not common and usually happen in people who had been suffering from this condition before. Neither of these 2 types are contagious and usually heals within a week or more than a week and the pain becomes lessened in 10 days.

Symptoms of canker sores

  • Minor canker sores are usually small, oval-shaped with red borders and heals without scarring.
    Canker sores
    A minor injury on the mouth due to dental work, overzealous brushing, injuries from sports and accidentally biting the cheek.
  • Major canker sores are not common and characterized as large and develops deep in the skin. They are round with defined borders with irregular edges when it becomes large and can cause severe pain. This condition heals in about 6 weeks and leaves severe scarring.

If the symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks or more, sores that spreads to the lips, pain does not lessen, fever and severe difficulty in eating or drinking, it is vital to seek medical care.


  • The child accidentally bites his/her lips or cuts it with a fork and the wound can become infected and cause the development of the sores.
  • A minor injury on the mouth due to dental work, overzealous brushing, injuries from sports and accidentally biting the cheek.
  • A diet deficient in Vitamin B12, folate or iron
  • Allergic reactions to a certain bacteria found in the mouth
  • Emotional stress
  • Sensitivity to foods such as coffee, strawberries, chocolate, nuts, eggs, spicy or acidic foods and cheese.
  • Conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • A weakened immune system


  • Give the affected child liquids with a straw to prevent irritation on the sores.
  • Rinse the mouth using warm salt water. Fill a cup with ¼ cup warm water and add ½ teaspoon salt and mix well until the salt is completely dissolved. Swiss it around the mouth at least 3 times every day until the canker sores disappears. The warm water soothes the area of the canker sores and keeps the affected area clean. Another way is mixing the warm water with baking soda
  • Apply a small amount of milk of magnesia on the affected area several times every day.
  • Apply ice on the canker sores by melting slowly ice chips over the canker sores to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Use a soft brush when brushing the teeth and use toothpaste.


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