Aphthous mouth ulcers
- Incidence: 5000.00 cases per 100,000 person-years
- Peak incidence: 20-30 years
- Sex ratio: more common in females 1:1
People with recurrent ulcers may have a genetic predisposition. Precipitating factors include:
- Oral trauma (for example excessive tooth brushing).
- Anxiety or stress.
- Certain foods (typically chocolate, coffee, peanuts, almonds, strawberries, cheese, tomatoes, and wheat flour).
- Stopping smoking.
- Hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle.
Management of aphthous ulcers includes:
- Avoidance of precipitating factors, and
- Symptomatic treatment for pain, discomfort, and swelling e.g. a short course of a low potency topical corticosteroid (hydrocortisone lozenges), an antimicrobial mouthwash, or a topical analgesic.
- People with a mouth ulcer that persists for more than 3 weeks should be referred urgently to a specialist