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Aphthous ulcer ( mouth ulcer)

September 03, 2012  by: Nupur  Points: 12   Category: Health  Earning $0.40   Views: 983

Aphthous ulcers are common oral ulcers experienced by many of us in day today life. This article highlights the different causes, symptoms, management and precautions to be taken to avoid this painful ailment. Read to know more.


Aphthous ulcers can be defined as ulcers in the oral cavity which are painful. Aphthous ulcers are generally benign in nature. It gets cured in a week, but sometimes it may take a longer time. Such ulcers should not be neglected and proper investigations should be done under an expert Ent specialist.

Cause of Aphthous ulcer

  • Aphthous ulcers can occur as a result of eating or gobbling very hot and spicy food.

  • These ulcers generally occur due to biting of oral mucosal wall while eating food in a hurry.

  • Patients often complain of the oral mucosal wall getting injured while eating chicken bones or wings and grilled fish.

  • It can be caused due to the harsh bristles of a brush and careless brushing.

  • Poor oral hygiene is one of the common causes.

  • Trauma or abrasion as a result of the structural deformities of teeth.

  • Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies can be a cause of aphthous ulcers.

  • It can also result due to some local infection in the mouth cavity.

Signs and symptoms of Aphthous ulcers

  • The patients complain of pain in the affected area of the mouth

  • Discomfort and difficulty in eating is the chief complain.

  • Patients suffering from recurrent aphthous ulcers complain of pain in opening the mouth.

  • Offensive mouth odour can be complained by a few patients.

  • Fever is a rare complain.

Clinical findings of Aphthous ulcers

  • The ulcer appears oval in shape, the borders are usually inflamed.

  • It is yellowish-white in colour. The ulcers which are grey in colour are more painful.

  • The ulcer may or may not be associated with bad odour. It depends upon the oral hygiene of the patient affected with the ailment.

  • The ulcers appear to be swollen, some may be 1-3 mm, others 3-5 mm and the recurrent and the painful ulcers may be 8-10 mm in size.

  • These ulcers can occur on the mucosal walls of the oral cavity, tongue, lips or cheeks.

Management of Aphthous ulcers

  • Most of the aphthous ulcers get healed by their own in 3-5 days.

  • In some cases the ulcer takes a longer time (8-10 days) to heal. When it is recurrent in occurrence ( it may take more than two weeks to heal ), in such cases a biopsy should be done after consultation with an expert doctor without further delay.

  • These ulcers may occur due to ill-health and vitamin deficiency. Vitamin B tabs, once daily is generally prescribed for a week or two.

  • Tablet metronidazole( 400mg) is the drug of choice, it is prescribed thrice daily for 5 days.

  • Mouth washes are beneficial, mouth should be rinsed well after meals with warm water with salt or chlorhexidine mouth wash can be used regularly.

Precautions to be taken to avoid oral ulcers

  • Oral hygiene should be maintained, brushing of the teeth should be done gently.

  • Food should not be gobbled in haste but should be taken comfortably. Hot and spicy food should be avoided to get fit soon.

  • Teeths should be flossed and rinsed with a medicated mouth wash after every meal.

  • Beetal nuts, lime or tobacco chewing should be avoided. These irritate the mucosal lining of the oral cavity and result in reoccurrence.

  • Dental deformities should be made better after consultation with a qualified dentist.

  • Note - Medicines should be taken after consultation with a qualified


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