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What is Aphthae?

Painful sores in the mouth are called aphthae or aphthous ulcers. These sores look like punctures with a white center and red edges. They occur in sensitive areas such as the tongue, gums, cheeks and palate and can make daily activities such as eating and drinking difficult. Aphthous ulcers are a common oral disease in the general population, with a prevalence of up to 20%.

Causes of aphthous ulcers include a weakened immune system, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal changes (especially during puberty), celiac disease. Aphthae are not contagious and tend to be more common in women. Aphthous sores, which are surrounded by inflamed tissue, usually heal on their own, but in severe cases, the healing process can take up to 1.5 months.

Aphthous sores are divided into two categories according to their size: those smaller than half a centimeter are called “minor canker sores” and those larger than half a centimeter are called “major canker sores”. While minor canker sores usually resolve spontaneously within 10 days, major canker sores can reduce a person’s quality of life. If you have more than three attacks a year, it is advisable to consult a health professional to determine the underlying cause.

Although the exact cause of canker sores is not known, the following factors have been implicated:

  • Low immunity and reduced body resistance
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Hormonal disorders and changes
  • Allergic reactions to foods
  • Harmful habits (alcohol, smoking, etc.)
  • Some health problems such as Behçet’s disease, celiac disease
  • Damage caused by unconscious tooth brushing
  • Psychological disorders (stress, depression, anxiety)
  • Deficiency of vitamins C and D
  • Excessive consumption of acidic fruits and spices
  • Side effects of some medicines
  • Cheek and tongue biting habits
  • Iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Symptoms of canker sores can be:
  • Severe pain and sores on the tongue, back of the mouth and soft palate
  • Tingling and tingling sensation before the wound
  • White, gray or yellow round sores with red, white, gray or yellow edges
  • Increased pain in the mouth that is felt when speaking
  • Sores that spread outside the mouth
  • In advanced cases, swollen lymph nodes, fever, fatigue and weakness

 

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The following methods are used for the treatment of canker sores:

Aphthae usually heal spontaneously, but anesthetic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory topical treatments can be applied on the advice of a physician to control pain and accelerate healing.

For persistent major ulcers, systemic treatments in the form of tablets or injections may be considered.

To reduce pain naturally, you can use a cream prepared from a mixture of water and baking soda, or gargle with salt or carbonated water.

To maintain your oral health, eat a healthy diet, brush and floss regularly.

Aphthae in children and babies can be caused by factors such as a weak immune system or malnutrition. In this case, it is recommended to consult a doctor.

Aphthae or aphthous ulcers are painful sores in the mouth. The causes of this condition, which has a high incidence, include a weak immune system, hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies and other factors. Anesthetic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory topical treatments can be used for treatment. In addition, a healthy lifestyle and regular oral hygiene are important to prevent canker sores.

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