Aphata

AphthaDescription, Causes and Risk Factors:Alternative Name: Aphthae minor, canker sores, aphthous stomatitis, recurrent aphthous stomatitis, recurrent ulcerative stomatitis, ulcerative stomatitis, and recurrent aphthous ulcers.Aphtha is defined as an oral disease with small white or yellowish ulcers. These ulcers are often surrounded by redness and can be found on the inside of the mouth, inner lips and the tongue.Western medicine explains the occurrence of aphtha as a result of infections (viral, bacterial or fungal). It is often correlated with another disease (often stomach disease or the common cold) when the immune system is already weakened.Specific foods (such as citrus fruits and nuts) and stress, insomnia and overwork are also suspected to promote aphtha.Traditional Chinese medicine traces the ailment back to dampness and heat in the heart and spleen. Especially in summers with hot temperatures and high humidity, the pathogenic factors dampness and heat can easily invade the body through the skin. These factors manifest in the body and increase the heat of heart and spleen organ systems.The disease in young children is mostly caused by inappropriate nutrition such as over-consumption of fat, sweet, spicy or fried foods that supports increased heat in the body.Also, the nutrition of pregnant women (too much greasy food) can be a cause of the excess of heat in newborns and young children. Adults are advised to avoid smoking, alcohol and stress to relieve the pain and to reduce the appearance of mouth ulcers.Without effective treatment, aphtha can lead to difficulties in speaking, eating and drinking due to the burning pain in the mouth.Symptoms:
  • Symptoms usually begin with pain or burning, followed in 1 to 2 days by an ulcer. There is never a blister. Pain is severe.
  • Ulcers appear as shallow, round or oval spots with a yellow-gray center and a red border. They are usually than inch (1 centimeters) in diameter.
  • The ulcers almost always form on soft, loose tissue such as that on the inside of the lip or cheek, on the tongue, the floor of the mouth, the soft palate, or in the throat.
  • Larger ulcers are less common; these are irregularly shaped, can take many weeks to heal, and frequently leave scars.
  • People with a severe outbreak may also have a fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and a generally run-down feeling.Aphtha
Diagnosis:The physical examination is usually the most useful and revealing part of the aphtha diagnosis. The physician will look for small red ulcers covered in a gray-yellow coating, possibly encircled in a halo of white or red. You will also identify where in the mouth the lesions occur. There are several visual cues that can help make the physician make the diagnosis.There is no specific blood test for aphtha, but the physician will likely take some blood tests to rule out other causes of aphtha. These tests usually include a complete blood count (measures the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood) and a hemoglobin test. Abnormalities in these blood tests may lead to further diagnostic tests. Serum antiendomysial antibody, antigliadin antibody and transglutaminase assay may be performed if celiac disease is suspected. Often the blood levels of several key vitamins are measured including Vitamin B12, folate (folic acid), and iron. While a vitamin deficiency does not necessary confirm a aphtha, it can be highly suggestive.A biopsy and examination under microscope is usually needed when the ulcers are very severe.Treatment:There is no known cure for aphtha. But the following remedies provide relief:
  • Soothe the sores. Apply boroglycerine using cotton buds. It will provide good relief. You may also use ghee or butter oil.
  • Use ice. Ice will soothe the sores.
  • Use special lozenges. Your dentist or physician may recommend hydrocortisone lozenges to speed up the healing process.
  • Mouth rinses. Add half-a-teaspoon of table salt to a cup of lukewarm water and rinse your mouth. Repeat every few hours. This may sting a bit. Bland mouth rinses also help to keep the ulcers clean.
  • Take vitamin pills. Use a multivitamin pill, one a day, to tide over the sores. The basis being vitamins could nullify the ill-effects of stress.
  • Avoid abrasive, acidic or spicy foods.
  • For a severe attack, your doctor may also recommend a prescription mouthwash, a corticosteroid salve or an anaesthetic solution.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care. 

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