Aphthous ulcer is a kind of mouth ulcer that is non-infectious but tends to recur. It is commonly present on the tongue and oral mucosa of the cheeks, lips and throat.
Aphthous ulcer begins with a localised swelling of the affected oral mucosa to form a small round or oval shaped blister. After a day, the blister bursts and becomes a whitish or yellowish ulcer with a red margin. When irritated by spicy, salty or sour food with strong taste, pain will be felt and saliva secretion will be increased.
Causes of aphthous ulcer
To date, the aetiology of aphthous ulcer has not been confirmed. However, the predisposing factors are known as follows:
Oral tissue trauma
Problem in endocrine system, i.e. hormonal disturbance
Immune system disorder
Malnutrition (especially the deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid, iron, etc.)
Wearing an unfit denture
Aphthous ulcer usually heals within 7 to 14 days. If the situation persists for more than 3 weeks or there is recurrent formation of new aphthous ulcers, you should consult a doctor for a body check-up to see if other treatments are necessary. If it is because of wearing an unfit denture, you should consult your dentist to adjust the denture. When necessary, a new denture may have to be made.
To avoid the pain from getting aggravated, you should:
Avoid touching the area when toothbrushing
eating hard, coarse, hot or spicy food
Apply ointment prescribed by the doctor or dentist onto the area to relief pain
Method to prevent recurrent aphthous ulcer
Since the aetiology of aphthous ulcer has not been confirmed, the only way to prevent recurrence is by eliminating the predisposing factors.