Aphthous mouth ulcers are painful sores that can occur anywhere inside the mouth. They are the most common type of mouth ulcer. At least 1 in 5 people develop aphthous mouth ulcers at some stage in their life. Women are affected more often than men.
There are three types:
• Minor aphthous ulcers are the most common (8 in 10 cases). They are small, round, or oval, and are less than 10 mm across. They look pale yellow, but the area around them may look swollen and red. Only one ulcer may develop, but up to five may appear at the same time. Each ulcer lasts 7-10 days, and then goes without leaving a scar. They are not usually very painful.
• Major aphthous ulcers occur in about 1 in 10 cases. These are 10 mm or larger. Usually only one or two appear at a time. Each ulcer lasts from two weeks to several months, and then goes but leaves a scar. They can be very painful – eating may become difficult.
• Pinpoint aphthous ulcers occur in about 1 in 10 cases. These are tiny, about 1-2 mm across. Many occur at the same time, but some may join together and form irregular shapes. Each ulcer lasts one week to two months. (These are sometimes called ‘herpetiform ulcers’, but they have nothing to do with herpes or the herpes virus.)
Aphthous ulcers usually first occur between the ages of 10 and 40. They then recur from time to time. There can be days, weeks, months, or years between each bout of ulcers. The ulcers tend to recur less often as you become older. In many cases, they eventually stop coming back. Some people feel a burning in part(s) of the mouth for a day or so before an ulcer appears.
My next blog would be on the causes of Aphthous Ulcer