Stomatitis in an inflammation of the oral tissues that may include the inside of the cheeks, lips, and palate. It is a common infection that can be part of some other disease. There are two main types, called acute herpetic stomatitis and aphthous stomatitis.
Acute herpetic stomatitis is usually self-limiting, but it can be severe. In newborns, the infection can spread and is potentially fatal. Aphthous stomatitis usually heals spontaneously, without a scar, in 10 to 14 days. Other oral infections include gingivitis, periodontitis, and Vincent’s angina.
What Causes them?
Acute herpetic stomatitis is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It’s a common cause of stomatitis in children between ages 1 and 3.
Aphthous stomatitis is common in girls and female adolescents, especially if they suffer from stress, fatigue, anxiety, frequent fevers, injury; and excessive exposure to sun.
What are their Symptoms?
Acute herpetic stomatitis begins suddenly with mouth pain, general discomfort, lethargy, loss of appetite, irritability, and fever, which may persist for 1 to 2 weeks.
The person’s gums are swollen and bleed easily; and the mouth is extremely tender. The person may get sores in the mouth and throat that eventually become blisterlike lesions with reddened edges. Pain usually disappears from 2 to 4 days before the sores heal completely. If a child with stomatitis sucks his or her thumb, the sores spread to the hands.
A person with aphthous stomatitis will typically report burning tingling, and slight swelling in the mouth. Single or multiple shallow sores appear with whitish centers and red borders. They appear at one site but recur at another.
How are they Diagnosed?
The doctor can diagnose most oral infections by sight. If Vincem’, angina is suspected, a sample of pus from a sore will be examined to identifY the organism that caused the infection.
How are they Treated?
For acute herpetic stomatitis, the doctor will use conservative treatment, giving warm-water mouth rinses (antiseptic mouthwashes are not used because they are irritating) and a painted-on anesthetic to relieve mouth-sore pain. The doctor will recommend a bland or liquid diet and, in severe cases, intravenous fluids and bed rest.
For aphthous stomatitis, the doctor first applies a topical anesthetic. but a long-term cure requires eliminating the causes of the oral infectlon.