Q. Are fever, swollen, and bleeding gums, mouth ulcer, and blisters signs of HFMD?

Answered by
Dr. Zubayeralam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 21, 2021

Hello doctor,

My daughter has a fever. Her gums are red, swollen, bleeding periodically, and she also has ulcer-like sores in her mouth with white spots on her tongue, blisters on her lips. We consulted a doctor, and she was diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth disease yesterday. However, I do not think that she has that disease.

Kindly help.



Welcome to

Thank you for the query. I can understand your concern. According to your statement, your daughter has been suffering from a fever, red swollen gums with bleeding, ulcer-like sores in the mouth, white spots on the tongue, a red throat, a blister on the lips. She has recently been diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a highly contagious infection common in young children. It is caused by viruses called coxsackievirus. These viruses can spread from person to person through direct contact with an infected person's nasal discharge, throat discharge, saliva, stool, respiratory droplets after a cough or sneeze, etc.

Clinical features of this disease are fever, chill, sore throat, painful red ulcer-like sores in the mouth or throat, bleeding gums, a blister on the lip, tongue, non-itchy red rash on the palms, soles, or occasionally in buttocks, loss of appetite, irritability, etc.

Diagnosis can be made by clinical presentation and some investigations like throat swab and stool specimens which can detect the presence of the causative virus.

There is no specific treatment, only symptomatic treatment. Applying topical oral anesthetic may help to subside the pain of mouth sores. Antipyretic should be used to reduce fever. Gargling with lukewarm water may help to lessen sore throat.

But, according to the presenting clinical features of your child, your child may suffer from hand, foot, and mouth disease, and the diagnosis made by your doctor is correct.

Take care.

Hello doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

Is her issue gingivostomatitis?




Welcome back to

Thank you for joining again. Gingivostomatitis is the common infection of the oral cavity and gums due to bacterial or viral infection.

Clinical features are swollen, bleeding gums, sore throat, tender sores in the mouth, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes, drooling, fever, bad breath, etc.

Some investigations like throat swabs and biopsy from the mouth sore may help detect the underlying cause and confirm the diagnosis.

Both hand, foot, and mouth disease and gingivostomatitis may be caused by the same virus called coxsackievirus. Clinical features and treatment protocols are almost identical in both hand, foot, and mouth, as well as gingivostomatitis.

Gingivostomatitis usually subsides within two to three weeks, and hand, foot, and mouth disease may disappear within ten days without any medical treatment.

I suggest you do the investigations mentioned above to confirm the diagnosis, whether it is hand, foot, and mouth disease or gingivostomatitis.

Take care.

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