Acute oral ulceration in urban children: observable characteristics in the history of presentation

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Ifueko Patience OSAGHAE


Objective: To elicit and present common characteristics in the history of presentation of children manifesting clinically with acute oral ulcerative lesions for the first time.

Methods: Prospective study conducted for children who manifested clinically with acute oral ulcerative lesions (oral ulcers and erosions) for the first time at the Oral Surgery clinic of Central Hospital Benin, Edo State Nigeria. Data were described using frequency distribution tables.

Results: Thirty children fulfilled the inclusion criterion. Majority (53%) were in the age range of 9 months to 2 years and sex predilection was in favour of females at 63%. Twenty three percent of children drew the attention of their care givers by complaining of sore gums. Predominant site was the gingiva of isolated tooth or teeth in 20%; all standing teeth in 47%; and in combination with other oral mucosal sites in remaining 33%. All children were observed to be on medication for one or more common childhood illnesses as at the time of visitation.

Least number of different drugs administered within the year or since the child was born was two while the highest number was 12. Antibiotics and antimalaria were most frequently administered.

Ninety percent of these children were in the care of their mothers. All caregivers were gainfully engaged.

Conclusion: Common characteristics of urban children manifesting with oral ulcerative lesions was they were majorly less than 2 years of age, suffered common childhood illnesses resulting in frequent ingestion of antimalaria and antibiotics bought with or without prescription.

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