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Ulcer, aphthous

A little, painful ulcer that arises, alone or in a group, on the inside of the lip, cheek, or underneath the tongue.

Aphthous ulcers are most widespread in people between the ages of ten and forty years old, and affect more females than males. The most severely affected people have continually recurring ulcers; others have only a couple of ulcers each year.

 

Causes

The ulcer, which lasts for one to two weeks, can be a hypersensitive reaction to haemolytic streptococcus bacteria. Other factors commonly associated with the occurrence of these ulcers are minor injuries (such as at an injection site or from a tooth brush), allergies or acute stress. In women aphthous ulcers are most frequent during the premenstrual period. They may also be more likely to occur of other family members suffer from recurrent ulcerative conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

Symptoms

Each ulcer is often oval and small, with a grey centre and a surrounding red, inflamed halo. The ulcers often last for one to two weeks.

Treatment

Analgesic mouthwashes or mouth gels can ease the pain of an aphthous ulcers. Certain ointments from a waterproof covering that protect the ulcer while it is healing. Ulcers heal by themselves, but a doctor can prescribe a paste or lozenge containing a corticosteroid drug or a mouth wash containing antiseptic to speed up the healing process.


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