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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2006 Apr;22(4):268-9.

Management of primary herpetic gingivostomatitis in young children.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14222, USA.



To review the treatment of primary herpetic gingivostomatitis at a children's hospital.


A review of charts from 1999 to 2003.


Forty-eight cases were identified. They ranged in age from 8 months to 12 years, with a median age of 2 years 7 months. All children were treated with fluids and analgesics; 11 children were treated with fluids and analgesics exclusively. Thirty-five children were treated with a mixture of Maalox and diphenhydramine, 8 with acyclovir, and 7 with viscous lidocaine; 11 children were treated with 2 or more of these regimens. Both the Maalox and diphenhydramine mixture and the viscous lidocaine were administered as swish and swallow, swish and spit, or by application with a swab as frequently as every hour or as infrequently as every 8 hours.


Topical therapy with Maalox and diphenhydramine or viscous lidocaine was administered to 73% and 15% of the patients, respectively, whereas acyclovir was administered to only 17%. Dosing and administration of topical agents in the treatment of primary herpetic gingivostomatitis in preschoolers were problematic. Acyclovir was not being used as often as it could have been.

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