An oral ulcer is the loss or erosion of part of the delicate tissue that lines theoral cavity (mucous membrane). The most common cause is injury (such as accidentally biting the inside of your cheek). Other causes include aphthous ulceration, certain medications, ill-fitting dentures, orthodontic brackets, skin rashes in the mouth, viral, bacterial and fungal infections, chemicals and some medical conditions. In most cases, oral ulcers are harmless and resolve by themselves within 10 to 14 days without the need for treatment.
The exact cause of oral ulcers is still not known and varies from person-to-person. Still, there are some common causes and several factors that may aggravate oral ulcers, including the following:
Some people may develop ulcers as a result of a different medical condition or a nutritional deficiency.
Conditions such as celiac or Crohn’s disease, vitamin B12 or iron deficiency, or a weakened immune system may all trigger ulcers to form.
Are Oral Ulcers Cancerous?
Oral cancer and oral ulcers are distinctive in their symptoms. However, as mentioned earlier, new or persistent ulcers require checking.
There are some fundamental differences between oral ulcers and what might be cancer:
(Confirmation of oral cancer is done only by biopsy)
There are three main types of oral ulcers. These include:
1.Herpetiform ulceration (HU)
Ulcers can be painful, and the pain can be made worse by food, drink, and poor oral hygiene.
Herpetiform ulceration may:
They tend to be found in more females than males and are more common in older adults.
Minor and Major ulcers include:
During more extreme outbreaks of oral ulcers, some people may experience fever, sluggishness, and swollen glands.
When to see a Doctor?
People who frequently get oral ulcers may find it difficult to know when to see a doctor.
There are some situations, however, where a person should see a doctor as soon as possible. Some of these circumstances include:
Others may want to seek medical attention or treatment for their ulcers if:
Some prevention methods include:
About the Author
This article has been contributed by the Department of Oral Pathology & Microbiology, Yenepoya Dental College under the Yenepoya (Deemed to be University) established in the year 1992. The department with its robust alumni of 3000 under- graduates and 67 Post -graduates students and research scholars has many accolades and achievements to its credit. It strives to provide state of art Oral diagnostics and Molecular Pathology while excelling in research activities and instilling a holistic approach in dental education among students. The department contributes its expertise in fostering inter-disciplinary collaboration and providing exemplary education and scientific research.
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