Information of Mouth Ulcers (Aphthous Ulcers)
Mouth ulcers are
sores that appear in the mouth, often on the inside of the cheeks.
Mouth ulcers, also known as apHthous ulcers, can be painful when eating, drinking or brushing teeth.
Recurring Ulcers in mouth is a common problem for many. Small or large, one or several at a time, short lasting or those lasting for a few days, painful or nor painful, could be some of the features of this condition. Medically, this condition is also called Aphthous stomatitis.
Occasional mouth ulcers are usually harmless and clear up on their own. Seek medical advice if they last longer than 3 weeks or keep coming back.
Mouth ulcers cannot be caught from someone else.
Up to 1 in 5 people get recurrent mouth ulcers.
Types of mouth ulcer
The main types of mouth ulcer are:
· Minor ulcers:- These are around 2-8mm in diameter and usually clear up in 10 days to 2 weeks.
· Major ulcers :- These are bigger and deeper, often with a raised or irregular border. This type of ulcer can take several weeks to heal and may leave a scar in themouth.
· Herpetiform ulcers:- This type of ulcer is a cluster of dozens of smaller sores the size of pinheads.
As said above, ulcers in mouth could be in any form, size, shape, number and duration.
It is more often found above the age of 20 years, in both sexes. Children also may present with oral ulcers. Having ulcers once in a couple of years may not need much attention. However, if the ulcers keep recurring and if they take long time to heal, it calls for evaluation and strategic treatment.
Causes of Oral ulcers
The most common causes of recurring ulcers in mouth can be summarized as under:
1 Deficiency: Vitamin B12, folic acid and iron deficiency. This is a most common cause of ulcers in mouth especially found among vegetarians. Also, iron deficiency in women due to healthy menses, could be a common cause. The treatment has to be targeted by proper supplements.
2 Stress: Next common cause is acute or prolongs stress. Observed usually in those young people who live stressful life do to stringent deadlines are work, irregular sleep pattern.
3 Smoking, use of tobacco, drugs, etc.
4 Mechanical cause: Pressure to do rough or decayed tooth, bad dentures, etc.
5 Bad oral hygiene
6 Medicines: Some of the conventional medicines are known to produce mouth ulcers. They include pain-killers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines), antibiotics, anti-cancer (chemotherapy), radiation, immunosuppressive medicines such as methotrexate, cyclosporine, Alendronic acid (used for osteoporosis) and some more.
7 Infections: Some bacterial, viral and fungal infections
8 Some oral diseases like Oral Lichen Planus
9 Cancer: A non-healing ulcer in the mouth with swollen lymph node in neck must be examined to rule out cancer.
10 Some unknown causes