Sometimes it seems like children are constantly getting sick. But if your child suddenly develops a sore in or around his mouth, it can set your alarm bells ringing. It can also be very unpleasant, especially for small children. Fortunately, your children’s dentist is here to answer your questions and set your mind at ease.
As a father himself, Dr. Matt knows that being a parent comes with a lot of worry. That’s why he and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, prioritize parent education. Whether your child has recurring cold sores or a toothache, he is always happy to explain the causes and your treatment options.
Still have questions or looking to schedule an appointment? Contact us today!
What is a cold sore?
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are quite common in children. They are the result of the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Children can be infected by the virus and then not manifest symptoms until another factor causes it to awaken. That’s why fever blisters often appear during times of stress, cold weather, or another illness.
Are cold sores contagious?
HSV-2 is highly contagious! If you or someone in your family has a cold sore, it’s important to avoid kissing, sharing utensils, and using the same towels until the blister has gone away.
Is there a treatment for cold sores?
Cold compresses and acetaminophen can help to minimize pain, and, in some cases, your children’s dentist may prescribe antiviral medications.
What is a canker sore?
Canker sores are small ulcers inside the mouth, particularly on the lips, cheeks, or under the tongue. They are usually small and white with a red, inflamed ring. They may appear on their own, or they could develop in clusters. Canker sores usually go away in one to two weeks. They are quite common and affect an estimated 10% of the population.
The cause of canker sores is unknown. In some cases, they can appear as a result of food allergies or a diet low in folic acid. Stress and hormonal changes can also bring about canker sores, but the exact correlation between these events is unknown.
Are canker sores contagious?
No. You cannot pass on canker sores. However, they tend to run in families, so if you suffer from recurring mouth ulcers, there is a greater likelihood that your child will, too.
Is there a treatment for canker sores?
There is no cure for canker sores, but, again, acetaminophen can keep inflammation under control. Dr. Matt may also prescribe a topical numbing medication if pain is particularly bad.
When should I be concerned?
In general, you shouldn’t!
However, if a baby under six months of age gets a cold sore, you should seek emergency medical treatment.
You should also contact your children’s dentist if cold or canker sores last more than two weeks. If your child has recurring canker sore outbreaks, your dentist or pediatrician may recommend testing to see if there is a dietary cause.
Contact Your Children’s Dentist
To learn more about children’s oral health or to schedule an appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids.
Reach us via our website or call us at (913) 685-9990.