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Aphthous stomatitis

Aphthous stomatitis Causes

The cause of Aphthous stomatitis is unknown. However, factors provoking the occurrence of Aphthous stomatitis include fatigue, illness, stress, menstrual changes, food allergies, hormonal changes, injuries from bites, dramatic weight loss and deficiencies in folic acid, iron and vitamin B12. Drugs like nicorandil can also cause Aphthous stomatitis. The most common trigger of Aphthous stomatitis is trauma to the mouth. These include dental braces, accidental biting, laceration of sharp objects and toothbrush abrasions. Other traumas include thermal injury, artificial sugars, excessive amounts of citric acid and chemical irritants. Repeat episodes of Aphthous stomatitis can be a sign of immunodeficiency, signifying low levels of immunoglobulin of the mouth. Some types of chemotherapy could cause Aphthous stomatitis.

Aphthous stomatitis Definition

Aphthous stomatitis is a form of mouth ulcer that presents a painful open sore within the mouth, which is caused by a break in the patient's mucous membrane. Also known as aphthous ulcer or ?Sutton's disease?, the term ?aphtha? means ulcer. Aphthous stomatitis is characterized by repeated painful discrete areas of ulceration. Recurrent Aphthous stomatitis (RAD) is distinguished from other diseases by their multiplicity, chronicity and tendency to recur. RAD is one of the most common oral diseases, accounting to 10% of the population. Females are more affected by Aphthous stomatitis than men are. However, over 35% of patients with RAD have a family history of this disease.

Aphthous stomatitis Symptoms and Signs

Patients with Aphthous stomatitis begin to experience a burning or tingling sensation at the site of the ulcer. After several days, this burning sensation usually progress and form a bump (or a red spot). Ultimately, this spot becomes an open ulcer. The Aphthous stomatitis appears as a yellow (sometimes, white) oval with an inflamed red border. A white halo or circle around the ulcer sometimes occurs. The yellow, grey or white area within the affected spot is due to the formation of fibrin layers, proteins involved in blood clotting. The ulcer may sometimes be accompanied with swelling lymph nodes under the jaw.

Aphthous stomatitis Treatment

For mild cases of Aphthous stomatitis, home remedies, such as antacid, sulfuric acid and licorice root can help relieve the symptoms. However, severe cases may require steroid treatments, such as methylprednisolone. Some may need pulsed prenisone if ulcers do not respond to any local treatment. Other treatments used include Thalidomide, silver nitrate and Aphthasol. Controversial therapies for Aphthous stomatitis include tetracycline, dapsone, gamma-globulin, estrogen replacement, colchicines, levamisole and MAOIs.

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