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Stomatitis - herpetic
Herpetic stomatitis can be treated with the acyclovir family of antiviral medications.
While the mouth is very sore, the child should be put on a mostly liquid diet of cool-to-cold, nonacidic drinks.
An oral topical anesthetic (viscous lidocaine) is available for severe pain, but it must be used with care because the anesthetic deadens all feeling. It may interfere with swallowing, and can possibly cause the child to burn the mouth or throat on hot liquids, or choke. In addition, there are rare reports of death from overdose or misuse of lidocaine.
The child should recover completely within 10 days without medical treatment. Oral acyclovir may speed up recovery.
Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis, a secondary herpes infection in the eye, may develop. This is an emergency and can lead to blindness. Dehydration may develop if the child refuses to eat and drink enough because of a sore mouth.
Call your health care provider if your child develops a fever followed by a sore mouth, especially if they begin eating poorly (dehydration can develop rapidly in children).
Lingen MW. Head and neck. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N, Aster JC, eds. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 16.
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