Despite its long and scary name, gingivostomatitis is a common mouth infection. The name is a combination of two other mouth conditions: gingivitis, which affects the gums, and stomatitis, which affects the lips. Gingivostomatitis is most common in children, and because it can be painful, might cause children to drool or refuse to eat.
Gingivostomatitis can strike anyone, but it is most common and the hardest to identify in children between infancy and five years old. The condition affects this age group often because broken gums caused by teething make it easier for viruses and bacteria to get in, and because young children put their fingers in their mouths. In addition, children's undeveloped immune system can't fight off germs as well as adults' can. The infection can be hard to recognize because symptoms can mimic both teething and canker sores.
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