Canker sores (also known as mouth ulcers) are common in children. These are usually seen at the base of the gums, under the tongue or inside the cheeks or lips. These canker sores can cause pain to your child. Everyday routines like eating food, drinking, brushing teeth all can be uncomfortable. Depending on their location in the mouth, even speaking can be painful. The ulcers are typically round red spots or white spots with a red edge or border.

Simple canker sores (versus complex canker sores which are usually limited to adults) may appear three or four times a year and last up to a week. Canker sores are not the same as cold sores or fever blisters. Canker sores do not spread from person to person so there is no need to isolate your child. If a canker sore is severe, your child may experience fever, physical sluggishness or swollen lymph nodes.


There are many causes of canker sores including, but the most common are:

§  Vitamin deficiencies – Lack of Vitamin B, zinc, and/or iron can cause ulcers in the mouth.

§  Mouth injury – an injury in the oral cavity due to biting of the cheeks or lip or even brushing too harshly can also cause ulcers and sores.

§  Stress from illness – stress from an illness can cause canker sores in kids.

§  Acidic foods – citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables (such as oranges, pineapples, lemons, tomatoes, and strawberries) can trigger a canker sore or make the problem worse.


Avoid giving your child soft drinks, orange juice, chewing gum, or spicy, acidic or salty foods while they have canker sores. Use a soft bristled brush for brushing the teeth.

A doctor’s visit is not necessary; however a trip to the dentist is a good idea if your child is experiencing discomfort. Your dentist may prescribe a topical medicine, special mouthwash, or home remedy to help heal the sores faster.

Call Drs. James and Samuel Owens office today 918.455.7700 if your child is experiencing any issues with canker sores!