Soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity in children
- Martha Ann Keels, DDS, PhD
Martha Ann Keels, DDS, PhD
- Adjunct Associate Professor in Pediatrics
- Duke University Medical Center
- Adjunct Associate Professor in Pediatric Dentistry
- University of North Carolina, School of Dentistry
Soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity in children may be normal/developmental findings or indicative of gingivitis, periodontal disease, local or systemic infection, or life-threatening systemic conditions (table 1).
The clinical features and management of common soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity in children will be reviewed here. Congenital anomalies of the oral cavity, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and the oral manifestations of systemic conditions are discussed separately. (See "Congenital anomalies of the jaw, mouth, oral cavity, and pharynx" and "Gingivitis and periodontitis in children and adolescents" and "Periodontal disease in children: Associated systemic conditions".)
LESIONS OF THE GUMS
Eruption cyst or hematoma — Eruption cysts are dome-shaped soft tissue lesions associated with the eruption of primary or permanent teeth. They are caused by fluid accumulation within the follicular space of the erupting tooth. Eruption cysts are called eruption hematomas when the cyst fluid is mixed with blood (picture 1). No treatment is needed; eruption cysts resolve spontaneously as the tooth erupts through the lesion.
Pigmentation — In dark-skinned children, pigmentation of the attached gingiva, due to melanin, is a normal finding .
Retrocuspid papillae — Retrocuspid papillae are small (2 to 3 mm [0.1 inches] in diameter), firm, round, pink to red, fibroepithelial papules on the gums behind the lower canines in most children (picture 2). They are often bilateral. They usually are asymptomatic and decrease in size with age. No treatment is necessary.
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- LESIONS OF THE GUMS
- Eruption cyst or hematoma
- Retrocuspid papillae
- Parulis ("gum boil")
- Gingival overgrowth
- Gingival recession
- HIV gingivitis
- Other lesions
- LESIONS OF THE TONGUE
- Ankyloglossia ("tongue-tie")
- Congenital lingual melanotic macules
- Geographic tongue
- Fissured tongue
- Other lesions
- LESIONS OF THE LIPS
- Herpes labialis
- Angular cheilitis
- Abnormalities of the labial frena
- Other lesions
- LESIONS OF THE PALATE
- Other lesions
- LESIONS OF THE BUCCAL MUCOSA
- LESIONS THAT OCCUR AT MULTIPLE SITES
- Benign tumors
- - Hemangiomas
- - Lymphangiomas
- - Fibromas
- - Traumatic ulcers
- - Aphthous ulcers