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A to Z: Stomatitis

Stomatitis (sto-muh-TY-tis) is an inflammation of the mouth.

More to Know

Stomatitis often causes painful blisters in the mouth or on the lips. Sometimes the lips are just cracked and raw. It is important to treat the pain to enable normal eating and drinking and prevent dehydration.

Swishing with a warm saltwater rinse (½ teaspoon of salt mixed with 1 cup of warm water) can ease discomfort from mouth blisters. Try cool foods like ice pops or warm, bland foods like broth to soothe the mouth. Avoid foods that are spicy, salty, or acidic (like tomatoes and oranges), which can be irritating, and hard foods, like pretzels and potato chips, which can scratch the mouth.

In many instances, the cause of stomatitis is unknown. Most cases don't require special treatment and will heal on their own in 1–3 weeks.

Keep in Mind

Mouth pain from stomatitis can make eating and drinking difficult, so the biggest associated risk is dehydration. The main goal of treatment is to ease discomfort so that drinking fluids isn't painful.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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