Oral Aphthous Ulcer

Oral Aphthous Ulcer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Oral aphthous ulcers, also known as canker sores, are small ulcers that form inside the mouth on the tongue, gums, or inside of the lips. They are usually round or oval, red, and very painful. Oral apthous ulcers can range from being a single ulcer to multiple ulcers. These painful ulcers can cause significant discomfort when eating or talking, and can last from 1 to 2 weeks.

Causes of Oral Aphthous Ulcer

The exact cause of oral aphthous ulcers is unknown, but there are several factors that can trigger or worsen these ulcers. These factors include:

  • Stress
  • Certain foods such as citrus fruits, nuts, chocolate, and spicy food
  • Certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Poor nutrition
  • Bacteria or a virus, such as herpes simplex virus type 1
  • Allergic reactions

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Aphthous Ulcer

Signs and symptoms of oral aphthous ulcers include:

  • White or yellow center with a red border
  • Painful and tender
  • Lasts for 1 to 2 weeks

Treatment of Oral Aphthous Ulcer

Treatment of oral aphthous ulcers can vary depending on the severity of the ulcers. Some treatments include:

  • Oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
  • Topical anesthetics such as benzocaine to provide pain relief
  • Antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacterial growth
  • Analgesics such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce pain and swelling

It is important to see your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have oral aphthous ulcers. Your doctor can determine the best course of action to treat the ulcers and prevent the condition from worsening.