Stomatitis is a common complaint which is usually considered to run a benign course, although Ebbs (1938) has suggested that during infancy certain forms of the disease may have serious consequences.
An attempt has been made to throw further light on the matter by the study of one-hundred-andfifteen children suffering from stomatitis who attended the Casualty Department of the Children's Hospital, Birmingham, between August 12 and December 14, 1938.
The term stomatitis means an "inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth" (Stedman, 1936), and many varieties of the disease have been described.
Amongst the terms in more or less common use are the following: aphthous (follicular, herpetic, vesicular) stomatitis ; catarrhal (simple) stomatitis ; mycotic (parasitic) stomatitis or thrush ; ulcerative stomatitis (infective, Vincent's ulcero-membranous, necrotic or infectious gingivo-stomatitis); gangrenous stomatitis or noma; and symptomatic stomatitis such as occurs in acute leukaemia and scurvy.
It has been found that it is not always possible to classify the cases according to these groups, but it seemed that as a rule the clinical and bacteriological features of stomatitis in children under the age of two differ from those of older children. The cases have therefore been grouped according to age.
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Sixty-seven of the 115 children were girls. The youngest patient was thirteen days old, the oldest eleven years.
Over half of the cases occurred before the age of two years, and four-fifths before the third birthday, the incidence of the disease diminishing progressively as age increased.
° CLIFFORD G. PARSONS, M.D., M.R.C.P. - STOMATTIS IN CHILDHOOD