Definition.—An inflammation of the buccal mucous membrane, characterized by the formation of a false membrane.
Etiology.—There seems to be quite a difference of opinion as to the specific cause of this form of stomatitis. Some regard the Klebs-Loeffler bacillus as responsible for it, while others contend that gonorrheal or syphilitic infection in the new-born is the primary lesion that gives rise to the disease.
Symptoms.—This form of stomatitis appears in the shape of small, irregular patches, of a grayish white color, the parts surrounding being red, painful, and hot. Of this Scudder says:
"The breath is fetid, and the submaxillary glands enlarge. As the disease proceeds, the patches of membranous exudation extend, become more or less detached, and are succeeded by others, and the intervening surfaces are red and swollen. The tongue is swollen and the mouth continually open, allowing the escape of altered saliva. The enlargement of the lymphatic glands increases, the face swells, the breath becomes more fetid, and the pulse more quick and rapid, and generally soft, open. or full and weak." "The disease sometimes extends back to the throat, and even involves the mucous membranes further, sometimes occasioning imminent danger. It may become chronic, and continue for weeks or months."
Diagnosis.—This is made by the membranous character of the patches.
Treatment.—"With small doses of aconite we associate phytolacca, rhus, or baptisia, as indicated. When the tissues are full, the first; if contracted and hot, with vivid redness, sometimes fissured and bloody, the rhus; and if there is dusky discoloration, the baptisia. The remedies are used in the ordinary small doses, and the phytolacca and baptisia may also be used as washes. When the tongue is broad, pallid, and dirty—a rare case—sodium sulphite is the remedy.
"As a local application, the hydrochloric acid with honey, one part to three, four, or six, will be found as good as anything; it should be applied with a small piece of sponge attached to a stick to the membranous exudations, being careful to reach them all. At the same time a saturated solution of potassium chlorate. with a small portion of glycerin, may be frequently used. An infusion of cinchona, acidulated with hydrochloric acid, has been recommended subsequently; but I would prefer the decoction of rumex, alnus, and quercus rubra."
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, 1907, was written by Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.