Aphthous Stomatitis: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Aphthous stomatitis is a serious health condition that needs treatment. How do you know if you might have it, how to prevent it and what’s the treatment for it?
What is aphthous stomatitis anyway? It’s an illness that is signified by the appearance of small ulcers in the patient’s mouth. These ulcers appear inside the mouth: on the lips, tongue, cheeks, sometimes even in the back of the mouth, on the soft palate and the back of the throat, and cause a significant amount of pain. This is one of the main aphthous stomatitis symptoms. The lesions usually cause a great amount of pain upon physical contact, and it’s even worse if the patient eats certain foods or drinks certain drinks (especially if they’re acidic). Ulcers in the back of the mouth can even cause painful swallowing. Ulcers will usually heal in up to two weeks, however, they are usually reappearing every now and again. Patients with this condition don’t have any other symptoms outside the mouth.
It is actually unknown why these ulcers appear in the first place. However, doctors say that main aphthous stomatitis causes are: weak immunity, food allergies, high stress levels, particular medications, as well as mouth trauma. You could prevent recurrent aphthous ulcers by removing at least some of the known causes of them. Also, we need to mention that this disease is non-contagious, and that means that it’s not caused by some bacteria or a virus. Patients can be sure that they won’t infect their close ones with this disease. That doesn’t make it easier for them, however, as it comes with a great level of discomfort. Depending on the placement of the lesions, it may be very painful to bite, chew or swallow food. Drinking could be painful, too, even though it is essential to drink enough water, especially with this illness.
Recurrent aphthous ulcers usually first appear in children at the age of 10 to 19. Many of them have recurrent aphthous ulcers for years, even after they grow up. To prevent this condition, it’s best to look after one’s health, take vitamins if needed, be on the lookout for allergies, and reduce stress.
Aphthous stomatitis is usually diagnosed by just the physical examination, however, blood tests and biopsy of the lesions could be required to make sure. Blood tests could help find out if the patient’s body lacks vitamins, and the biopsy could tell a lot about the cause of the illness. Sometimes a patch test is performed, with the goal to find what the patient is allergic to. This could tell that some allergens might be involved in recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
So, summing up, recurrent aphthous ulcers could be a sign that the patient’s body lacks some nutrients, or is coping with immense stress. To stop ulcers from recurring, the patient would need to stick to a healthy diet and keep their stress levels down, and, of course, treating these ulcers so the lesions from them heal and don’t come back.
Aphthous stomatitis treatment at home depends on the age of the patient, their medical history and the nature of the disease. However, the most common recommendations are drinking more water, sticking to proper oral hygiene, mouth rinsing, and taking pain-relieving medications if needed. It’s best to consult with the doctor first, as it could be a major aphthous stomatitis, the causes of it could vary, and it may need an entirely different approach to the treatment.
If you experience burning, stinging or itching on the inside of your cheeks, on the tongue or lips, you may suffer from this condition. Our advice would be to see your doctor at your earliest convenience. It’s not the most dangerous condition in the world, though it can cause a lot of discomfort, and in cases of major aphthous stomatitis it may even lead to malnutrition and subsequent weight loss.
Hopefully you won’t have to face the struggles of aphthous stomatitis. But if it happens, you now know its’ symptoms, what it may be caused by, and how to treat it at home. Consultation with the doctor is advised, however. While it’s non-contagious and not extensively serious, it’s better to start treating it earlier and not at the point when it becomes a major aphthous stomatitis. Take care and remember to stick to proper oral hygiene!