Aphthous stomatitis

Aphthous stomatitis

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Aphthous stomatitis is an illness that causes small ulcers to appear in the mouth, usually inside the lips, on the cheeks, or on the tongue.

The exact cause of this disease is not known. There are many factors that are thought to be involved with the development of aphthous stomatitis, including:

    Weakened immune system.

  • Allergies to food such as nuts, citrus fruits, cheese, coffee, chocolate, etc.

  • Stress.

  • Viruses and bacteria.

  • Trauma to the mouth.

  • Poor nutrition.

  • Certain medications.

Recurrent aphthous stomatitis is a disorder characterized by recurring ulcers in the oral mucosa in patients with no other signs of disease. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis appears to represent several pathological states with similar clinical manifestations, including immunologic disorders, hematologic deficiencies, and allergic or psychological abnormalities. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis affects 20% of the general population and is classified according to clinical characteristics as minor ulcers, major ulcers and herpetiform ulcers.

Aphthous stomatitis

Aphthous stomatitis is usually seen in children and adolescents from the ages of 10 to 19 years. For about one-third of the children affected, lesions continue to reappear for years after the initial outbreak.

These ulcers are not contagious and cannot be spread from one child to another.


The following are the most common symptoms of aphthous stomatitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

    Ulcers in the mouth, usually inside the lips, on the cheeks, or on the tongue.

  • Ulcers that are covered with a yellow layer and have a red base.

  • No fever present (in most cases).

  • Lesions usually heal in 7 to 14 days.

  • Lesion tends to recur.


Aphthous stomatitis is usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your child. The lesions are unique and usually allow for a diagnosis simply on physical examination. In addition, your child's physician may order the following tests to help confirm the diagnosis and rule out other causes for the ulcers:

    Blood tests.

  • Cultures of the lesions.

  • Biopsy of the lesion - taking a small piece of tissue from the lesion and examining it microscopically.


The goal of treatment for aphthous stomatitis is to help decrease the severity of the symptoms. Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics are ineffective. Treatment may include:

    Increased fluid intake.

  • Acetaminophen for any fever or pain.

  • Proper oral hygiene.

  • Topical medications (to help decrease the pain of the ulcers).

  • Mouth rinses (to help ease the pain).

It is especially important for your child to avoid spicy, salty, or acidic foods, which may cause further mouth irritation.

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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