Has Anyone Ever Seen This? Child with Chronic Lumps/mouth Ulcers Inside Mouth

Updated on April 15, 2009
M.M. asks from Orlando, FL
16 answers

My nephew has had an ongoing issue in his mouth since he was a toddler. He is now 9 years old and doctors have told his mother there is nothing that can be done, just have to deal with the symptoms when he has an outbreak. But my nephew gets outbreaks of mouth ulcers or "lumps" as his mother calls them, on the inside of his mouth in the tender areas inside his cheeks. Strange thing is this poor kid eats a pretty bland diet...he does not eat lots of salty or sour or spicy or acidic foods, which you would think might cause something like this. He can't eat much when these break out because it hurts too bad. They get very swollen and he can barely talk or laugh. It is a terrible thing to witness and I can't understand how there is no proper treatment or cure for this? He describes them as "volcanoes" inside the cheeks of his mouth...like little mountains with a hole in the center. My heart goes out to him and I sincerely hope one of you knows a bit about this condition and possible treatment or a doctor's name you can provide who has experience dealing with this issue. He has tried Orajel, Bonjela, and several other ointments and nothing makes him feel better except Ice or Icepops to temporarily soothe him. He has been dealing with this for several years and they are frequent, popping up once every 1-3 months and lasting a couple weeks I believe.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone who responded...I sent your responses to his mother so she can decide if she would like to try anything out or maybe get a second opinion from a Doctor or Dentist. Thanks again!!

Featured Answers



answers from Orlando on

Can you find out what was going on in his life at the time this started and then look at everytime he gets a repeat of it, what is going on in his life again.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Hi M., I use to have acid bumps in my mouth a lot at a kid and a teenager. I would take Mylanta and it helped. Now I have Acid Reflux. His stomach may be causing this. Sometimes I still have these sours brake out in my mouth. It won't hurt to try him on it. good luck. M. H.



answers from Port St. Lucie on

Try talking to the dentist...

I used to get something like this as a kid. It was from certain foods. I figured it was 'hard candy'. You know the stuff you have to suck on? Any type of hard candy did something to my mouth and made me break out in these mouth ulcers.
In your nephews case it could be something as simple as his tooth paste. Keep asking different doctors until someone helps you. The squeaky wheel gets the oil!



answers from Boca Raton on

This may have been tried already, but I would change his toothpaste too - he may be having a reaction to an ingredient in it. Try one of the Tom's natural toothpastes, the most basic one. I would not opt for one with tarter control, whitening, etc - just a basic paste. Some of the those ingredients can definitely be irritating and cause reactions in some people.



answers from Miami on

Hi M.,
My son and I started getting mouth ulcers about two years ago. They are miserable! We've spent many months trying to get a diagnosis. They seem to erupt after any type of trauma to the mouth (dentist's visits) or just plain stress. Recently, I took my son to see Dr.Maria Gutierrez who specializes in pediatric infectious disease. She can recommend the proper treatment and lab tests. We still don't have a diagnosis, but we know what is not causing the ulcers and what to do next time one of us has an outbreak. Dr. Gutierrez's number is ###-###-####, but your nephew's pediatrician will probably have to get a referral. Good Luck!



answers from Orlando on

I was going to also say the Herpes virus. Its very common in children. My friends son recently had this and his gums would bleed and he could only eat soup. The ped. gave him antibiotic and some other mouth wash medicine.



answers from Miami on

How awful a thing to deal with. Go to your local health food store to consult with a nutritionist. Sounds like an imbalance that hopefully they can restore



answers from Miami on

gargle with peroxide, or try l-lysine a supplement. i had this until my adult life. for me it was stress



answers from Miami on

Hello. I get these on occasion. They seem rare and I don't know too many others who get them. The one thing that has been prescribed to me and worked to numb the pain of them is lidocaine (oral). Not sure if he is too young for this. Definately inquire though because it works!




answers from Miami on

try NAET
you will learn about allergy reactions and allergy cause of hundreds of deseases



answers from Ocala on

Hi M., my son when he was younger had something similar to this. His entire mouth broke out with these sores. I took him to two Drs. One said that there was nothing to do but keep him comfortable until it goes away. That Dr. gave him some medicine I cant remember the name but it is what dentist use a topical anistetic to numb his mouth. Well when I finally got him in to see his pediatrician she told me he had a type of (get this you ready I freaked out) Herpes virus. I totally flipped out and told her no way. Well she put him on some meds and it cleared it up. She told me it was not the contagous kind and told me that there was many types of the virus even fever blisters. After taking the meds he has never had another problem with it.
Has he ever been test for allergies? He could have a food allergy. Best of luck to this child and the mother on finding out what this is.



answers from Miami on

Hi, M.. What kind of doctors has this poor child been taken to? This could be some kind of herpes virus infection, sort of a kind of cold sore that actually erupts inside his mouth. There are medications for it, but I am not terribly familiar with it. It could also be an allergy since it goes away and comes back. The fact that it clears up and then flares up again tells me that there is some kind of allergy or infection at work here.

Even though he eats a bland diet, he can still be allergic to something. Has he seen a dentist? It sounds like the pediatrician he has been taken to is rather ignorant; I would take him to a doctor who treats the mouth, like a dentist. Dentists are trained to diagnose all kinds of mouth problems, including herpes, mouth cancers, etc.

I would take him to a dentist and see what the dentist says.

In the meantime, warm salt water might help where other things have failed.

I pray that you all find the cause of this problem and get him healed.




answers from Jacksonville on

I had very bad sores in my mouth as a child 3 or 4 at a time I could hardley talk. They would go away for months then come back. I would get them if I went to a dentist and had x-rays. Since I'am older I guess I grew out of getting them so bad every once in a while I will get one. I put on a paste that helps numb the pain(baking soda paste may help). When I was young I would put salt on them it would hurt really bad for a few seconds but then I would not feel the pain again. I have not done that since, I know how much it hurts those first few seconds of doing it. I'm a chicken now.My 9 year old has the same problem I have no cure for him either. I guess it is a herpes virus that is nothing to worry about just very uncomfortable. I hate to see him in so much pain I know what he is going through.



answers from Ocala on

i never heard of it. but i'd go to a specialist in that area.or at the very least a different doctor. there is a reason he gets them and they need to get to the bottom of it all.the specialist like a infectionous doctor or a oralMD.because crohn's desease can cause this and so can oral cancer and his mom needs to know what exactly it is she is dealing with.we pray it is not either of these and most doctors never check for crohn's unless asked too.
Mouth Problems in Infants and Children
See complete list of charts.

Sores and other problems in and around your child's mouth can be painful and worrisome. Follow this chart for more information about common causes of mouth problems in children.

Note: Aspirin should never be used in the treatment of chickenpox, influenza, or other viral diseases because aspirin has been associated with the serious disease Reye syndrome, which can lead to liver failure and even death. In general, aspirin should not be used for children or teenagers except on the advice of a doctor for certain conditions.


1. Does your child have a fever? Go to Question 11.*

2. Is your child an infant, and is the infant drooling or wanting to chew on things? Your child may be TEETHING. Use teething rings or let your baby chew on a wet washcloth. Rub your baby's gums with a clean finger. Wipe off drool to prevent rashes on the baby's face. Use children's acetaminophen to relieve discomfort, but call your doctor if the baby develops a fever.

3. Does your child have red and swollen gums that may bleed when he or she brushes or flosses? Your child may have GUM DISEASE, such as GINGIVITIS or PERIODONTITIS, usually caused by poor DENTAL HYGIENE. Take your child to the dentist. Good dental hygiene such as regular brushing, flossing, dental checkups and eating a healthy diet can prevent gum diseases.

4. Does your child have honey-colored crusting on the mouth that began as an itchy red sore or cluster of blisters? Your child may have IMPETIGO, a contagious skin infection. Wash the area 3 or 4 times a day and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. If the sores spread or don't get better, call your child's doctor.

5. Does your child have a red or purple sore or cluster of sores on a lip or the outer edge of the lips? Your child probably has a COLD SORE caused by a virus called HERPES. Cold sores will usually go away on their own. Apply an over-the-counter cold sore ointment for comfort. If the sores are painful, give your child an analgesic such as acetaminophen. Avoid pinching, picking or squeezing the blisters.

6. Does your child have small, open and painful sores that are white or yellowish with a red border on the inner lips or cheek, gums or tongue? These may be CANKER SORES. They may be caused by viral infections. Canker sores usually heal on their own. To relieve discomfort, have your child rinse his or her mouth with salt water or diluted hydrogen peroxide, or apply an over-the-counter oral gel. You may also want to give your child an analgesic such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain. See your child's doctor if there is no improvement.

7. Does your child have small, painful bumps on the tongue? These bumps are probably PAPILLAE (where the taste buds are) that have become INFLAMED due to an injury from a burn caused by hot food or drink or a self-inflicted bite. The inflammation and bump will usually go away on its own. Avoid feeding the child hot, spicy and acidic foods. Give your child an analgesic such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain.

8. Does your child have a small, painless, fluid-filled sac that may be bluish in color on the inner lips, gums, palate or under the tongue? These may be MUCOCELES, harmless cysts that may be caused by sucking mouth tissue between the teeth. These cysts will usually go away on their own. To avoid infection, do not try to open the cyst. See your child's doctor if the cysts don't go away.

9. Does your child have creamy white patches on the tongue, inner cheek or gums, and are they painful when scraped? This may be ORAL THRUSH caused by a fungus growing out of control. This condition usually goes away on its own. Feed your child unsweetened yogurt with live cultures to restore the natural balance of bacteria in the body. Have your child gargle with salt water or use an analgesic such as acetaminophen to relieve pain. If the symptoms get worse or don't get better, see your child's doctor. He or she may prescribe an antifungal medicine.

10. Does your child have a sore or swollen tongue or lips?
Your child may be having an ALLERGIC REACTION. URGENT
Call your child's doctor right away.

*11. Does your child have sores or blisters on the face and on the body such as the stomach, chest or back?
Your child may have CHICKENPOX, a contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Give your child acetaminophen to relieve pain and reduce fever. Call your child's doctor if fever gets worse or doesn't go away, if blisters look infected, or if new symptoms such as headache or nausea appear.

12. Does your child have a sore throat and painful blisters on the tongue or mouth, or a rash on the palms of hands or soles of feet? Your child may have HAND-FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE or HERPANGINA, viral infections caused by the COXSACKIE VIRUS. These illnesses must run their course. Avoid giving the child food and drinks that irritate blisters such as spicy, salty or acidic foods. Have your child drink plenty of cold fluids such as milk and ice water. Feed your child non-irritating foods such as ice cream. Have your child gargle with salt water to relieve discomfort and give your child an analgesic such as acetaminophen to relieve pain and reduce fever. Call your child's doctor if symptoms get worse or don't get any better.

13. Does your child have a red and sore throat with white patches on the throat or tonsils, and possibly a rash somewhere else on the body? Your child may have STREP THROAT, a bacterial infection. See your child's doctor. He or she may want to do some tests and prescribe antibiotics. Allow your child to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Give your child an analgesic such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce fever. Gargling with salt water may relieve some discomfort.

14. Does your child have painful sores, swelling or redness on the inside of the cheeks and on the gums? Your child may have GINGIVOSTOMATITIS, a condition caused by a viral infection of the HERPES or COXSACKIE VIRUSES. This condition usually gets better on its own. Allow your child to drink plenty of fluids and offer cold, soothing foods such as ice cream or frozen yogurt. Give your child acetaminophen to relieve pain and reduce fever. Gargling with salt water may also relieve discomfort.

For more information, please talk to your doctor. If you think the problem is serious, call your doctor right away.

This tool has been reviewed by doctors and is for general educational



answers from Jacksonville on

My question would be what toothpaste is he using? People that have a sensitivity to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)often will exhibit recurrent mouth ulcers. SLS is commonly found in toothpaste because it makes it foam up. Perhaps your nephew would benefit from using an SLS-free toothpaste for awhile. Tom's of Maine makes one that is orange flavored, I believe.




answers from Miami on

I also get mouth ulcers. My mom who has been on a form of chemotherapy for her autoimmune disease began getting them really badly. Her specialist told her the chemo makes the body use up all folic acid and she takes 5mg of folic acid daily to support her liver and prevent outbreaks of canker sores / mouth ulcers. I started taking folic acid daily, about 1000mg and have seen an improvement. when I get an outbreak I take up to 5mg folic acid daily. Hope this helps. Folic acid is really cheap and safe. l-lysine is also a helpful supplement.

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