Mouth ulcers

Also known as Canker sores or Aphthous ulcers.

They are normally small in size, painful lesions that usually develop in your mouth or at the base of your gums.

They can make eating, drinking, and talking uncomfortable.

Women, adolescents, and people with a family history of mouth ulcers are at higher risk for developing mouth ulcers.

Mouth ulcers aren’t contagious and they usually go away within one to two weeks.

However, if you get a canker sore that is large or extremely painful or if it lasts for a long time without healing, you should seek the advice of a doctor and proper guidance and treatment.

Classification of Mouth Ulcer:

Minor recurrent aphthous ulceration: Size of lesions are under 10 mm in diameter and they may heal within 10 or 14 days.

Major recurrent aphthous ulceration (less known and less common): coalescent or large ulcers with raised margins and more than 10 mm in diameter that takes a longer time to heal. They are often associated with fever, dysphagia, and malaise. It is also termed as major recurrent aphthous stomatitis or major aphthous ulceration (MaAU).

Herpetiform recurrent aphthous ulceration: This is an uncommon type of mouth ulcers, and Herpetiform ulcers are less than 1 mm in diameter in size and characterized by crops of numerous grouped 1 or 3 mm ulcers on or generally visible under the tongue.

Recurrent Aphthous ulcers are usually:

One or many lesions scattered throughout the mouth.

Round or oval in shape with a yellow-gray color.

Surrounded by erythematous halo

Painful, especially creates discomfort during eating or drinking.

Mouth ulcer treatment:

1. General measures

Avoidance of hard, spicy, salty or acid food.

Avoidance of toothpaste containing sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate.

Use Antiseptic, Anti-inflammatory, and Analgesic mouthwash or spray.

Pain relief and local treatment.

2. Local therapy

Choline salicylate gel applied to ulcers (adults only).

Nd: YAG laser or silver nitrate cautery.

Topical corticosteroid paste, solution, spray or ointment.

Nicotine-containing gum has been reported to be effective, but it is not recommended because it is highly addictive and has many adverse effects (see smoking).

3. Systemic therapy

Systemic therapy is intended to reduce the frequency of ulceration.

Systemic corticosteroids

Immunomodulatory agents

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FAQs related to Mouth ulcers

Are mouth ulcers contagious?

Aphthous ulcers are not contagious; they are not passed on by kissing or sharing utensils. But mouth ulcer caused by any infections like viral, bacterial or yeast may be contagious.

Can mouth ulcers affect your health?

Mouth ulcers are harmless most of the times. But remember that they may be a sign of nutritional deficiency, infection, malignancy or any of the previously listed causes. Hence, long-standing and recurrent ulcers should be examined.

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