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Aphthous Ulcers Mouth

Aphthous Ulcers are also known as canker sores but should not be confused with cancer. They are small painful ulcer craters in the lining of the mouth and can cause bad breath. About one fifth of people get canker sores. They are usually found under the tongue or one the inside lining of the lips and cheeks. They are yellow or white in color with a red top, take two weeks to heal and rarely leave permanent scars.

Groups of Aphthous Ulcers

There are three main categories: minor, major and herpetiform sores. The minor sores are normally found at the floor of the mouth and the soft palate. They are small and shallow. The major sores are larger, deeper and more likely to leave scars. The herpetiform ulcers are more numerous and intense. HIV may cause major ulcers and people who get many of them should consider testing for HIV.

Who gets Aphthous Ulcers?

Women are more likely than men to have these canker sores. People who have a family history of canker sores are more likely to get it on a regular basis. A child as young as two years can get it, but it mostly occurs from the age of ten years onwards. It occurs once or twice a year but there are those who get it more often.

Causes of Aphthous Ulcers

It is uncertain what causes it, however scientists agree that viruses do not cause it. There are a number of possible causes:

  1. An allergy for certain types of food.
  2. Allergic reaction to a certain types of bacterium.
  3. Faulty immune system that causes the body to attack the normal cells in the mouth.
  4. Nutrition deficiencies of vitamin B, iron and folic acid.
  5. Inability to digest certain cereals.
  6. Injuries to the gums.
  7. Autoimmune disorders such as Bechet’s syndrome and Chrohin’s disease.
  8. Poorly fit dentures.
  9. Hormonal changes during menstruation.

Aphthous Ulcers


It appears in clusters or as a single ulcer in the mouth lining or on the tongue. They appear red and swollen. The tissue underneath is extremely red and sensitive. It leaves a burning or tingling sensation. It appears suddenly and disappears after two weeks. Fever and swollen lymph nodes may occur in severe cases.

Treatment of Aphthous Ulcers

It will clear up when that illness is treated if it is caused by another illness.Changing the toothpaste to one that prevents bacterial growth and not irritate the gums can help to cure recurring canker sores. There are a number of ointments and mouth rinses to relieve pain associated with these sores. Avoid abrasive foods such as chips that stick to the gums. Stay away from spicy food.

Herbs and Aphthous Ulcers

There are several herbal remedies that can be used to treat canker sores.

Licorice: contains glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic and tannin that all help to cure canker sores.

Sage: can be used in herbal tea together with licorice to shorten the time it takes to heal. Very little sage should be consumed as it can cause convulsions.

Echinacea: contains antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chamomile: can used as an herbal tea to help smooth the mouth lining.

Tea tree oil: helps to fight infections and candida. Apply it directly with a piece of cotton to the infected area once or twice a day.

Aloe Vera: can be used as part of a mouth rinse twice a day.

Golden Seal: contains astringent and antiseptic chemicals that help to treat canker sores. It can be used as mouth rinse twice a day.

Tea: is rich in tannin and a few cups a day will help to speed up the healing process.

Myrrh: is also rich in tannin and helps with mild infections of the gum and floor of the mouth. It can be used in its powdered form or as part of a tincture.

People who are sensitive to gluten should avoid wheat and grain products. Certain toothpastes contain sodium lauryl sulfate that increase the occurrence of the ulcers. Avoidance of these toothpastes will help. Reducing stress levels can also reduce the outbreaks of canker sores. Increase vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, iron, zinc and folic acid in the regular diet. They are not contagious and Aphthous Ulcers should disappear within four to seven days with treatment.

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