Children are more likely to get mouth mucositis than adults. Type, dose, and length of time of chemotherapy treatment are factors. A child may also be at higher risk for mouth mucositis because of:
Mouth mucositis may start 5 to 10 days after starting chemotherapy. It may last for weeks. Symptoms can also occur a bit differently in each child. They may include:
The symptoms of mouth mucositis can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The healthcare provider will ask about your child's chemotherapy treatment and mouth symptoms. He or she will examine your child’s mouth, gums, and tongue. The healthcare provider may note how severe the problem is with a grading system. The mucositis may be graded from 1 to 4. This can help guide treatment. If needed, your child may be tested for other conditions. Some mouth conditions can have similar symptoms, such as oral candidiasis (thrush) or viral infections.
Mouth mucositis can be treated in many ways. Some treatments are simple and may help with mild symptoms. More severe symptoms may need to be treated with prescription medicines. In some cases, your child may need to spend some time in the hospital. Your child's oncologist will work with you to make your child as comfortable as possible.
To help ease mild symptoms, try the below:
For more severe symptoms, your child's oncologist may advise:
Possible complications of mouth mucositis include:
Mouth mucositis can’t be fully prevented. But there are medicines that may help prevent mucositis from happening. Talk with your child's oncologist about these medicines. You can also help lessen the chance and the severity of the condition by making sure your child:
You can help your child during treatment with the below tips:
Call your child's healthcare provider if he or she has the below:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: