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Aphthous Ulcer - Symptoms and Treatment

Aphthous ulcers is an open sore in the mouth, which appears as a painful white or yellow ulcer surrounded by a bright red area. They are temporary sores that may occur anywhere in the mouth except on the gums, lips, or roof of the mouth. Benign as burning or tingling sensation and tend to be small and shallow. Women are generally affected more often than men. A red spot or bump usually forms,which develops into an open ulcer. They can occur one at a time or as a group of sores. Although these sores are not serious, other mouth sores may be. Aphthous ulcers that occur in conjunction with symptoms of uveitis, genital ulcerations, conjunctivitis, arthritis, fever or adenopathy should prompt a search for a serious etiology. Aphthous Ulcers is a very common type of skin disorders but is very dangerous also. Aphthous ulcers are single or multiple ulcers of the inside of the mouth that tend to recur. Aphthous ulcers are sometimes caused by Vitamin-B deficiency. Aphthous ulcers usually resolve on their own within 1-2 weeks, thus treatments for aphthous ulcers are not usually necessary. However, treatment options for especially painful or persistent aphthous ulcers may include a oral antibiotic four times daily for 10 days.

Usually only one aphthous ulcer will develop but there is a possibility of five occurring at the same time. The term aphtha means ulcer; It has been used for many years to describe areas of ulceration on mucous membranes. Aphthous stomatitis is a condition which is characterized by recurrent discrete areas of ulceration which are almost always painful. Aphthous ulcers may have abnormalities in cell communication and epithelial integrity. They can can occur at any age, but often they first appear when you are between 10 and 40 years of age. Pain usually decreases after several days, and canker sores typically heal within one to three weeks. Occasionally canker sores can develop that are larger than 1 centimeter in diameter or last longer than two weeks.

Causes of Aphthous Ulcer

Common causes and risk factor's of Aphthous ulcers include the following : -

  • Family history.
  • Nutritional deficiencies, particularly vitamins B, iron, and folic acid.
  • Some ex-smokers find they develop ulcers only after stopping smoking.
  • Changes in hormone levels.
  • Menstrual cycle.
  • Stress or trauma in the mouth, such as biting the tongue.
  • Irritation from strong antiseptics, such as a mouthwash.
  • Emotional stress and lack of sleep
  • Certain foods including chocolate.
  • General discomfort or uneasiness.
  • Injury - such as badly fitting dentures , a graze from a harsh toothbrush and reaction to certain toothpastes .

Symptoms of Aphthous Ulcer

Some common Symptoms of Aphthous Ulcer :-

  • Sore throat.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Tingling or burning sensation prior to appearance of the sores.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Swollen or painful lymphadenopathy.
  • White or yellow oval with an inflamed red border.
  • Round, white sores with a red edge or halo .

Treatment of Aphthous Ulcer

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Antibacterial mouthwashes to reduce secondary infection.
  • Topical cortisone.
  • Regularly rinse your mouth out with warm, slightly salted water.
  • An oral rinse, such as viscous lidocaine used every three hours or before meals, provides short-term relief from pain caused by aphthous ulcers.
  • Take pain-killing medication, such as paracetamol.
  • Topical anesthetic gel.
  • Calcineurin inhibitors such as topical pimecrolimus or tacrolimus.
  • Protective pastes can also be used that form a barrier over the ulcer so that exposure to irritating substances is reduced.








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