Saturday, July 15, 2023

What are aphthous ulcers?

 Aphthous ulcers, also known as canker sores, are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums

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 They are not contagious and can be extremely painful, making eating and talking difficult
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Symptoms

Most canker sores are round or oval with a white or yellow center and a red border. They form inside your mouth — on or under your tongue, inside your cheeks or lips, at the base of your gums, and can be extremely painful
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 Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and discomfort or uneasiness (malaise) 
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Causes

The exact cause of aphthous ulcers is not yet clearly defined, but they can be triggered by a number of factors, including minor injuries, hormonal changes, emotional stress, lack of certain vitamins and minerals in the diet (especially iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12), food allergies, and certain medications
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Treatment

Most canker sores go away on their own in a week or two, but large, persistent, or unusually painful sores often need medical care
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 Treatment options include:
  • Topical products: Over-the-counter and prescription products (pastes, creams, gels, or liquids) may help relieve pain and speed healing if applied to individual sores as soon as they appear
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  • Mouth rinses: Your doctor may prescribe a mouth rinse containing the steroid dexamethasone to reduce pain and inflammation or lidocaine to reduce pain
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  • Medications: In Germany, the only drugs that have been approved to treat oral aphthous ulcers are corticosteroids, topical antiseptic/anti-inflammatory agents such as triclosan and diclofenac, and local anesthetics such as lidocaine
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Prevention

To prevent aphthous ulcers, it is recommended to avoid eating particularly hard or sharp foods, brush atraumatically (eg, with a small-headed, soft toothbrush), and avoid other trauma to the oral mucosa
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 Additionally, it is important to maintain a healthy diet that includes sufficient amounts of iron, folic acid, and vitamin B-12
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If you have unusually large or painful canker sores or canker sores that don't seem to heal, it is recommended to check with your doctor or dentist
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Citations:
[1] https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2000/0701/p149.html
[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/canker-sore/symptoms-causes/syc-20370615
[3] https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/diseases-conditions/canker-sore
[4] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21766-mouth-ulcer
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215084/
[6] https://dermnetnz.org/topics/aphthous-ulcer
[7] https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/canker-sores
[8] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/mouth-ulcers
[9] https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/867080-treatment
[10] https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/867080-overview
[11] https://www.healthline.com/health/canker-sores
[12] https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/canker-sores.html
[13] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/canker-sore/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20370620
[14] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10945-canker-sores
[15] https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/fever-blisters-canker-sores
[16] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/mouth/mouth-ulcer
[17] https://ada.com/conditions/aphthous-ulcers/
[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431059/
[19] https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/canker.html
[20] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphthous_stomatitis
[21] https://familydoctor.org/condition/canker-sores/
[22] https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/aphthous-stomatitis
[23] https://www.osmosis.org/learn/Aphthous_ulcers

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