What is a mouth ulcer?
An inflammatory condition characterised by the appearance of an ulcerous lesion on the lining of the mouth (oral mucous membranes), and consequent pain.
Buccal ulcers are small, painful, recurrent surface lesions (similar to small ulcers) which occur on the mobile tissue, hard palate and tongue in the oral cavity: on the inner surface of the lips, the buccal and alveolar mucosa, the tongue, soft palate, oropharynx and floor of the mouth.
They can occur several times (recurrent aphthous ulceration), sometimes in the same place.
The periodic appearance of mouth ulcers is known as Recurrent Oral Aphthous Ulceration (R.O.A.U.).
Incidence: very common among all age groups
- The most common disorder of the oral mucosa, affecting up to 50% of the population.
- Affects patients of all ages: children, adults and the elderly.
- Its frequency is approximately 33% in children, and 40% in children suffering from coeliac disease.
Numerous risk factors and predisposing causes
- Physical: stress, emotional shock, fatigue.
- Nutritional: in some cases foods can be involved, such as chocolate, coffee, peanuts, almon ds, cereals, strawberries, cheese, tomatoes, or durum wheat flour (with gluten).
- Traumatic: such as those caused by dental procedures or wearing braces.
- Infectious: viral (herpes, papillomavirus, chickenpox, infectious mononucleosis, etc.) bacterial (streptococcus, poor oral hygiene).
- Medicinal products: aspirin, NSAIDs, antibiotics, nicotine substitutes, antifungals.
- Deficiencies: iron, folic acid and vitamin B1.
- Hormonal: menstruation, excess weight, liver overloads (caused by oral contraceptives).
- Genetic: the predisposition to RAU is hereditary; if both parents suffer from RAU: there is a 90% probability that the child will suffer from it too. If neither parents has RAU, the probability is only 20%.
- Syndromes: celiac disease, diabetes, Chrohn’s disease.
- Skin diseases; Rheumatic disorders; Gastrointestinal disorders (e.g. coeliac disease); Cytotoxic and chemotherapy drugs; Radiotherapy.