Management of primary herpetic gingivostomatitis in young children

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2006 Apr;22(4):268-9. doi: 10.1097/01.pec.0000218982.46225.f5.


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

Methods: A review of charts from 1999 to 2003.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use
  • Administration, Oral
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / therapeutic use
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use
  • Antacids / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diphenhydramine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Lidocaine / therapeutic use
  • Magnesium Hydroxide / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Stomatitis, Herpetic / diagnosis
  • Stomatitis, Herpetic / epidemiology
  • Stomatitis, Herpetic / therapy*


  • Analgesics
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Antacids
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, drug combination
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Lidocaine
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
  • Acyclovir