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Aphthous Ulcer - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Aphthous ulcer is a common and painful problem of mouth. it is also known as canker sore. Its size can be up to 2cm starting from several mm in diameter. It is shallow and not to deep. it is one of the common problems that occurs in mouth. Acc. to statistics, about 20 % of the population have Aphthous ulcer at any given time. It takes 10-14 days to get well from this disease. It is healed without leaving a scar. the Ulcer may be singly or multiply present in the mouth at a single time. The ulcers can be of three types:

  1. Minor
  2. Major
  3. Herperiform

minor ulcers are located on labial or buccal mucosa which is the soft palate and the floor of the mouth. These are small in size usually less than 1 cm and shallow. major ulcers are larger and involve deeper ulceration. these are likely to have scar with healing. And in the last herperiform ulcers frequently are more numerous and vesicular in morphology.

Aphthous Ulcer Causes

  1. Poor Dental hygiene: The aphthous ulcer can be caused if your dental codition is not good. YOu need to change your toothpaste. Try a toothpaste that does not have detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate. it may also be caused by old toothbrush. toothbrush should not be used more than one month.
  2. There is not a precise mechanism which tells about ulcer but it is likely that their development is related to a reaction of an individual's own immune system.
  3. Damage: The damage inside the mouth may be from over zealous tooth brushing or burns from hot food or drink or may even by some sharp thing. anything which is touched by it either that is food or anything else make things worse.
  4. Nutritional deficiencies: Nutritional deficiencies like of iron, lysine, vitamin B12, and folic acid also can lead to canker sores or one can say ulcer. almost 15% of the total ulcer patients are found caused by nutritional deficiencies.
  5. Biting the cheek: Some people bite the delicate tissues in their cheeks or lips during sleep, or while chewing or talking. This is true especially for people who are suffering from TMJ or whose bite is uneven. This can result in lacerations and canker sores.

Aphthous Ulcer Symptoms

  1. Round white sores with a red edge or halo.
  2. Painful red spot or bump that develops into an open ulcer which is colored white or yellow.
  3. Most people experience their first bout with canker sores between the ages of 10 and 20. Children as young as 2, however, can develop the condition. The frequency of canker sore recurrences varies considerably. Some people have only one or two episodes a year, while others may have a continuous series of canker sores.
  4. Nausea and vomiting.
  5. Loss of appetite.
  6. Fever is rare, and the sores are rarely associated with other diseases.

Aphthous Ulcer Treatment

  1. Mouthwash: chlorhexidine mouthwash may reduce the pain. It also make the ulcer to get well soon. It also make the ulcer not to get infected.
  2. To prevent bacterial infection, brush and floss your teeth regularly and visit the dentist for routine care.
  3. The easiest home remedy is to apply hydrogen peroxide (1 part hydrogen peroxide and one part water with a cotton swab) to the canker sore. Then dab a small amount of milk of magnesia on the canker 3-4 times a day.
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