SORE MOUTH (Apthoe, thrush, canker stomatitis) is nicely divided by medical men into five different kinds of stomatitis; these kinds representing degrees of severity. It is the first evidence of acid poisoning and scurvy.

Catarrhal stomatitis is a simple inflammation of a part or of the entire surface of the mouth. It occurs most commonly during the period of the first dentition and results from wrong feeding and uncleanliness. It may also be present in fevers, and is quite commonly present in gastro-intestinal disorders.

The mouth is dry, hot and red with an increased flow of saliva. The tongue is coated, there is constipation or diarrhea, thirst, and slight fever. Nursing is quite painful and should be omitted. The condition lasts from three or four days to a week.

The calomel and alkaline mouth washes usually employed in these cases cannot be too strongly condemned.

Aphthous stomatitis is a little worse stage of catarrhal stomatitis There is hyperemia (excess of blood) in the mucous membrane of the mouth, with the formation of small, yellowish-white vesicles commonly called fever-blisters. It is a self-limited affection and is caused by bad hygiene, improper feeding and lack of cleanliness.

Boric acid and sodium salicylate mouth washes, commonly advised, should be religiously avoided.

Ulcerative stomatitis differs from the above only in that it is severe enough to produce ulceration. Ulcers may form anywhere in the mouth, but form chiefly on the gums.

The gums are red and swollen and there is considerable pain. There is a profuse flow of acid, irritating and offensive saliva (salivation), a foul breath and hemorrhages from the mucous surfaces on pressure.

This condition develops in scurvy and other severe types of malnutrition, and in the so-called infectious diseases. Mercury is a potent cause. Improper feeding, and uncleanliness are chief causes where mercury can be excluded.

Mouth washes made of borax, salicylate of sodium or hydrogen dioxid, are commonly used. These should be avoided. Potassium chlorate, commonly administered internally, should also be avoided.

Gangernous stomatitis (noma, nancrum oris) is a still more severe type of the above condition and develops in greatly debilitated children and in maltreated cases of "infectious" fevers.

These cases are very rare and usually terminate in death in from a few days to two or three weeks. I have never known of a case cared for hygienically and cannot say what we may expect from natural measures. But I am sure that if recovery is possible these methods would be far better than the tonics and operations employed by medical men.

In these cases there is gangrenous destruction of the tissues of the cheek and perhaps also of other adjacent structures.