​Stomatitis, or an infection of the mouth, is a painful condition caused by yeast (Candida Albicans), herpes simplex, enterovirus or aphtha (stomatitis aphtosa) and may cause a child to refuse food and drink. The disease is transmitted by direct contact when the child is kissed or when sharing a spoon, for example.

Yeast infection


Yeast infection is the most common mouth infection. Thrush is a yeast infection often found in the mouths of small children causing whitish-grey patches on the insides of the mouth. Oral yeast infections may occur after treatment with antibiotics. Cracks at the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis) are often a symptom of yeast infection, not vitamin B deficiency as is often believed.

Apply anti-fungal drops or cream topically to treat a yeast infection. Rinse your baby's mouth with water after each meal (or give water to drink) and make sure your child's toys are regularly cleaned.

Cold sore (herpes simplex)


Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which remains in your system after you have contracted it. Every so often the virus is activated by a triggering event, such as an infection or sunbathing. Typically, the herpes simplex virus causes a painful, tingling blister on your lip. You can speed up healing with acyclovir cream that is available over the counter in pharmacies. Apply the cream directly over the blister five times a day for five consecutive days. If the virus spreads extensively, it may cause blisters to develop in the buccal mucosa and tongue. Gums become red and tender and bleed easily. Children may develop fever.

Oral infections caused by the herpes simplex virus usually clear up without treatment in 5 to 7 days. Older children can alleviate the pain by gargling with an anaesthetic mouthwash before meals. If the condition has spread and the child is either very small or there are nutritional and dehydration concerns, seek medical assistance.



Symptoms of a mouth infection caused by enterovirus include red spots in the back of the mouth and in the pharyngeal and palatal areas. Other symptoms include fever and oral pain causing reluctance to eat. Enterovirus infections occur seasonally at the end of the summer and in connection with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). In hand, foot and mouth disease, red spots also appear on the upper and lower extremities.



Aphtha causes painful ulcers inside the mouth. The ulcers typically have a white coating. Once contracted, this uncomfortable condition remains in your system and is triggered when your resistance is lowered by an infection, for example. In addition to ulcers, there are no other symptoms, such as fever. Symptoms can be eased with anaesthetic liquids and mouthwash, if necessary.