This is a contagious
viral infection, which produces ulceration and
inflammation of the gums.
Herpetic stomatitis is caused by Herpes Simplex Virus and
is seen in children.
Infection within the first 6 months is rare due to
passive protection from antibody transferred across the
placenta. After this period the infant is susceptible and
subclinical infection is very common.
The primary infection
occurs between 9 months and 5 years and may result in an
Primary infections can be
seen later in childhood.
Clinical features include:
- Irritability and
refusal of food due to difficulty in swallowing.
- High fever.
- Vesicles on the
tongue, buccal mucosa, gums and skin around the
mouth.The ulcers are very painful.
- The mucosa becomes
red, swollen and bleeds easily.
- The vesicles
breakdown to form ulcers.
- Secondary bacterial
infection may occur with enlarged lymphnodes
and difficulty in swallowing.
- It is self-limiting
and lasts between 7 to 10 days.
Approximately 80% of the population carry the HSV which
makes it difficult to prevent children contracting the
virus. Parents should avoid kissing their children when
they have a cold sore. Also avoid sharing glasses, food
diagnosed by its appearance.
The patient can recover without any medication within 10
Acyclovir may be used.
Topical lidocaine is suitable for severe pain.
As the childs mouth will
be sore, a liquid diet will be needed.
A secondary herpes infection of the eye may occur
A sore mouth may also
lead to dehydration if the child refuses food and drink.