The child has canker sores

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Marie-Ange Demory
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They are lesions of the mucous membrane of the mouth that can affect children. they are a harmless ailment, which however can cause a lot of annoyance to the child. There are no really effective remedies to counter them, but they heal by themselves within a few days.


  • what are canker sores
  • why the canker sores come
  • how long the canker sores last
  • how to relieve pain
  • how to strengthen the immune system
  • the power supply

What are canker sores

Aphthae are 'wounds' of the mucous membrane that lines the mouth, areas of erosion that form small ulcers, which can be a few millimeters in diameter but even reach more than 1 cm. They can be single or more than one and can be located throughout the mouth cavity, including the gums and tongue. Contrary to what is generally believed, their contagiousness has not been scientifically proven.


Why are the canker sores

The canker sores are due to a Herpes family virus (the same that gives bubbles on the lips) which is found in the body as in hibernation, except reactivating in particular situations of weakening of the immune system, such as in periods of fatigue or illness.

They can also be determined small trauma of the mucous membrane, for example too 'vigorous' use of the toothbrush, a crust of bread that 'scratches' the inside of the cheeks or a particularly hot food.

Often among the causes are also brought up food shortages, “But they can cause canker sores only if they are particularly severe, a very rare occurrence in Del Paese ”comments Alberto Villani, head of the Complex Operational Unit of General Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases of the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in the city. “Just as food intolerances or celiac disease have nothing to do with it”.

How long do canker sores last?

If they are single or very few (2-3) and small, they typically last 5-10 days, although the most discomfort lasts a maximum of 2-3 days. The situation is different if there is widespread aphthosis, with numerous or larger canker sores, which can last up to two weeks before complete recovery and give pain and discomfort for 5-7 days.

How to relieve pain

Unfortunately, especially in the acute phase, nothing relieves discomfort and pain. There are a number of products on the market, but none are truly effective or capable of accelerating healing.

There are also numerous grandmother's remedies popular among mothers: among the most popular the tea bag or baking soda powder, to be put directly in contact with the lesion. Attempting does not harm, but "there are no real benefits, if not to cheer up those who do these things for the feeling of doing something!" is the expert's comment.

Strengtheners of the immune system no, correct nutrition yes

There are immune system strengthening therapies that help prevent the onset of canker sores? “In general, there are no really effective 'reinforcing' therapies" replies the expert: "vitamins can help, but they do not work miracles; also zinc, often cited as a reinforcer, could be really useful only in serious deficiencies (which in Italy are really unlikely); there is also often talk of probiotics, but there is nothing scientifically proven.

What is true is instead that a child who feeds properly, sleeps an adequate number of hours and discharges regularly will be better off and you will be less likely to get sick in general, and therefore also to have aphthosis ”.


What can be fed to the child with canker sores

  • Usually when the child has canker sores, he doesn't eat much, especially in the first few days, as he feels burning. For sure
  • all acidic, salty or sour foods should be avoided that exacerbate discomfort and pain: citrus fruits such as lemons, arande, tangerines, grapefruits (also in juice), tomatoes, kiwis, dried fruit, cured meats, spicy foods, French fries and other salty snacks.
  • Likewise, it will have to be done pay attention to the temperature of the food, which should preferably be cool and not hot, e the consistencies, preferring soft, creamy, smoothie foods.
  • Green light therefore to milk, ice cream, yogurt, creamy and not very tasty cheeses, mashed potatoes, rice or pasta in white (but without exaggerating with parmesan or parmesan), creams and vegetable purees, bananas, sweet and soft pears.

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