Primary Herpetic Gingivostomatitis

Mouth Sores Herpes Gingivostomatitis (Viral)

Viruses, including the herpes virus, can cause mouth sores in kids, but they're not related to sexual activity. If your child gets them, they might have a sudden fever, be cranky or low on energy, have small sores or blisters in their mouth, have swollen gums, have severe pain, and might not want to eat or drink much. These sores usually heal in about 7 to 14 days without leaving scars.

To help your child, keep them hydrated with water, milk, or popsicles, and offer soft foods. Your doctor might prescribe medicine for the sores or swelling and recommend over-the-counter pain relievers. Keep sick kids home from school until the ulcers have resolved, and practice good hygiene to prevent spreading the virus.

If the sores persist, your child stops drinking fluids, gets fussier, or shows signs of dehydration, call Dr Ellie Nadian, Paediatric Dentist in Brisbane on (07) 3343 4880.

What is Primary Herpetic Gingivostomatitis?

Primary Herpetic Gingivostomatitis is a mouth infection mostly seen in young children, but it can occur at any age. This condition is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which is the same virus that causes cold sores.

high-grade fever and painful oral lesions
gingivostomatitis in children

What you need to know about Primary Herpetic Gingivostomatitis

Here's a simple breakdown of what you need to know:

  1. Symptoms: The infection often starts with a fever, sore mouth, and decreased appetite. Shortly after, painful sores can appear inside the mouth, including on the gums, inner cheeks, and sometimes the back of the throat. These sores can make eating and drinking uncomfortable. Some kids might also have swollen and tender gums.

  2. Transmission: The virus spreads through direct contact with saliva or sores of someone who is infected. This means it can be passed through kissing, sharing utensils, or touching a sore and then touching the mouth.

  3. Treatment: There's no cure for the virus, but the symptoms can be managed. Treatment usually focuses on relieving pain and ensuring the child stays hydrated. Pain relief might include special mouthwashes, pain relievers like acetaminophen, and in some cases, antiviral medications if the doctor thinks they're necessary.

  4. Prevention: Good hygiene practices can help prevent the spread of the virus. This includes regular hand washing, not sharing utensils or cups, and avoiding direct contact with sores.

  5. Course of the Illness: The first infection can be quite uncomfortable for a child, but it usually gets better on its own within two weeks. Once someone is infected with HSV-1, the virus stays in the body for life, but most people don't have frequent problems.

Remember, while this condition is uncomfortable, it's also common and manageable. If you suspect your child has Primary Herpetic Gingivostomatitis, it's important to consult Brisbane Paediatric Dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Can Herpetic Gingivostomatitis Cause a Fever?

Herpetic gingivostomatitis can cause fever in babies. This condition is essentially a viral invasion, courtesy of the herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1 for short. When this uninvited guest makes its way into a baby's mouth, it doesn't just stop at causing those painful sores and ulcers you might notice on their gums and inside their mouth. It also often brings along a fever as part of the package.

Here's the straightforward breakdown: the virus stimulates the body's immune response, which in turn can lead to a fever. This is the body's way of saying, "Hey, there's something not right here," and it's fighting back. Fever in the context of herpetic gingivostomatitis isn't just a symptom; it's a signal from the body that it's actively battling the virus.

In treating this, as paediatric dentistry experts, we don't just focus on the mouth. We take a holistic approach to ensure the comfort and recovery of your little one, addressing symptoms like fever to help them feel better as they heal. So, if your baby is showing signs of mouth sores along with a fever, it's a good call to consult with a specialist. We're here to support you and your bub through this with clear advice and effective treatment options.

How long does Fever last with Herpetic Gingivostomatitis?

When it comes to herpetic gingivostomatitis in little ones, the fever that comes with it is like an unwanted guest at a party – it doesn't always leave when you want it to. Typically, this fever can hang around for a few days, usually between 2 to 3 days, but it's not uncommon for it to stick around for up to a week. It's one of the body's natural responses to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection, the troublemaker behind herpetic gingivostomatitis.

The fever is essentially the body's way of going into battle mode against the virus. While it's a sign that the body is fighting back, it can be rough on your bub, making them feel unwell and cranky.

Managing the fever is key to keeping your little one comfortable. This might involve giving them plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, offering fever-reducing medications recommended by a dentist or kids dentist, and keeping them cool. Remember, every child's experience with herpetic gingivostomatitis can be a bit different, so if the fever seems to be sticking around longer or if you're worried about how your baby is feeling, it's important to consult with a paediatric dentist. They can provide personalised advice and reassurance tailored to your baby's needs.

How do you Treat Gingivostomatitis in Babies?

Treating gingivostomatitis in babies involves a mix of home care strategies and professional medical advice to ease symptoms and support healing. Here’s a straightforward approach:

  1. Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relief medication like paracetamol (always check the correct dose for your baby's age and weight) can help reduce discomfort. For babies over 6 months, ibuprofen is another option. Always consult with a healthcare professional before giving any medication.

  2. Hydration: It’s crucial to keep your little one hydrated. Offer plenty of fluids. For younger babies, this might mean more frequent breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. For older babies, water and suitable hydration solutions can be offered.

  3. Soft Foods: If your baby is on solids, opt for soft, bland foods that won’t irritate their sore mouth.

  4. Oral Hygiene: Keeping the mouth clean is important. For babies, wiping the gums gently with a clean, damp cloth can help. If your child is older, a soft toothbrush with a small head and mild, child-friendly toothpaste can be used.

  5. Topical Treatments: There are oral gels designed to numb mouth pain that are suitable for children, but it's essential to use a product recommended by a healthcare professional to ensure it's safe for your baby.

  6. Avoid Irritants: Keep away from salty, acidic, or spicy foods that could aggravate the sores.

  7. Doctor’s Visit: If symptoms persist or if you’re concerned about your baby's health, it’s important to see a healthcare professional. They might prescribe antiviral medications if deemed necessary, especially in severe cases.

  8. Rest: Ensure your baby gets plenty of rest. This helps their body fight off the infection more effectively.

Remember, while gingivostomatitis is common and usually clears up on its own within a couple of weeks, keeping an eye on your baby's comfort and hydration levels is key. If you're ever in doubt or if symptoms seem to worsen, reaching out to a paediatric dentist or your GP is the best course of action. They can provide tailored advice and treatment options to help your little one recover smoothly.

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