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Aphthous ulcer


Apthous ulcers are lesions that develop on the mucous membranes and soft tissues inside your mouth. These lesions are usually round in shape, always occur on soft areas of your oral cavity like inside of lips, underside of tongue and cheeks, and at the base of your gums, these type of ulcers are non-contagious (do not spread on touching), benign (harmless), may or may not be painful, and can occur individually or in clusters. In majority of the people affected by apthous ulcers, the condition is recurrent, and each outbreak of these ulcers lasts for around 7-10 days. There are three different types of apthous ulcers; major, minor, and herpetiform ulcers.


Some common causes of apthous ulcers include:

  • Emotional distress,
  • Minor trauma,
  • Genetics,
  • Excessive spicy food intake,
  • Excessive hot drinks intake,
  • Vitamins or minerals deficiency,
  • Contamination of oral cavity with bacteria,
  • Use of tobacco products such as cigarettes or cigars,
  • Hormonal imbalance associated with pregnancy,
  • Weakened immune system.
Risk factors

Possible triggers for canker sores are:

  • Injury to mouth (usually from dental work)
  • Aggressive brushing of teeth
  • Deficiency in Vitamin B12, zinc and folate
  • Infection caused by bacteria, e.g. Helicobacter pylori
  • Emotional stress
  • Allergies to certain foods such as nuts, chocolates
  • Long-term diseases such as Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis.

Predominant symptoms of apthous ulcers are: burning or itching sensation inside mouth, tenderness (pain) in mucosal areas of oral cavity, shallow and pale lesions, difficulty in eating, drinking, speaking, lesions become red in color when they are inflamed, and pyrexia (fever) in rare cases.


To reach a diagnosis, your doctor will perform some medical examinations and take a detailed medical history. Diagnosis is also based on affected person’s condition, severity of disease, duration, and presence of any other symptoms. Your doctor may ask you to get some investigations like blood tests and liver function tests done in order to rule out some serious systemic diseases.


The first line of treatment for apthous ulcers include avoiding hard or irritative food items, applying cold substances to the affected area, and using numbing preparations when the pain becomes unbearable. Further treatment depends on the medical condition of the affected person, severity of ulcers, duration of ulcers, and location of the ulcers. Topical anti-inflammatory ointments applied 2-4 times in a day provide relief to some extent. Chlorhexidine mouthwash and a good oral hygiene practice can help in alleviating the symptoms of apthous ulcers.

When to consult a doctor?

You should pay a visit to your doctor or dentist in case of:

  • Large, persistent ulcers
  • Recurring ulcers
  • Uncontrollable pain
  • Difficulty in eating and drinking

Available Medicine for Aphthous ulcer