Aphthae in the mouth and on the tongue

Aphthae occur inside the mouth and can take different forms.

Aphthosa stomatitis refers to a specific ulcer in the mouth that is very painful.
This condition can affect individuals of different age ranges, from children to adults.The affected areas are:

  • Lips
  • insides of the cheeksSkin diseases 
  • Tongue.

In some cases, the disease can also spread to the upper parts of the throat.

Stomatitis aphthosa or stomatitis herpetica Stomatitis herpetica
(or herpes labialis) is a disease of the oral cavity that develops after infection of the oral mucosa, on which blisters form.
It is the result of a herpes virus that resembles varicella,
these blisters can burst and cause severe local pain.
Stomatitis aphthosa is provoked by various factors of viral infection.


Types of aphthae in the mouth

Aphthae of the minor type
These aphthae occur relatively frequently and have a size of 3 to 10 mm. For their healing they need about 2 weeks.

Aphthae of the type major (Sutton type)
They affect:

  • Cheeks
  • Tongue
  • Lips.

Mainly affects adolescents who have completed puberty.
This type has a size of more than 10 mm and is blurred.
After their healing, they usually leave scars.
Recovery progresses slowly (20-30 days) and relapses are common, even after less than a month.

Herpetiform ulcers
This is a severe, less common form of ulcers that forms in groups (grape-shaped).
Herpetiform aphthae:

  • are of small size, 1 -2 mm,
  • can occur as a dog shaft.

In general, women are affected after the age of 30. The aphthae can be very painful.

Herpetiform aphthae heal within 2-3 weeks, but recur frequently.

Causes of aphthae in the mouth

The exact reasons why aphthae form are unclear, although scientists suspect that there is a combination of different factors for the appearance of such foci.

Possible triggers of aphthae:

    1. mild trauma to the mouth caused by:
      • dental intervention,
      • too hard toothbrushing,
      • Sports injuries
      • accidental biting in the cheek.
    2. Toothpastes and mouthwashes containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
    3. Food allergies, especially to:
      • Chocolate
      • Coffee
      • Strawberries
      • Eggs
      • Nuts
      • Cheese
      • Vinegar.
  1. Lack of:
    • vitamins (for example, vitamin B3 or B12),
    • Zinc
    • Folic acid
    • Iron.
  2. Allergic reaction to certain bacteria in the mouth.
  3. Helicobacter pylori, those bacteria that also cause stomach ulcers.
  4. Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle.
  5. Emotional stress.
  6. Substances contained in drugs for chemotherapy.
  7. Emaciation or fasting. When the body uses the fat reserves, the toxins contained in adipose tissue are freed and enter the blood. Possible symptoms include:

Aphthae can also develop due to various diseases, such as:

1. Celiac disease, a serious intestinal disease due to an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in most cereal grains.
2. Inflammatory intestinal diseases, such as:

3. Behçet’s disease, a rare disease that causes inflammation throughout the body, including the mouth.
4. Autoimmune diseases: A faulty immune system that attacks healthy cells in the mouth instead of pathogens such as viruses or bacteria.
5. AIDS, which suppresses the immune system.

Symptoms of aphthae in the mouth

Aphthae are painful wounds:

  • in the oral cavity,
  • the cheeks,
  • on the lips,
  • on tongue, gums and palate.

The most common symptoms of aphthae are:
1. Burning in the mouth or itching lasting up to 24 hours before the wound appears.
2. Ulcers that are white, grey or yellow in colour and have a red border.
3. Throat pain occurs when the aphthae are in this area.
4. Painful sores in the mouth.
5. Difficulty and pain when speaking, eating and swallowing.

Less common symptoms that may also indicate a potentially serious infection:
1. fever
2. enlarged lymph nodes
3. tongue swelling.

Consult the doctor if aphthae:
1. are larger than usual;
2. appear diffusely;
3. exist for more than 3 weeks;
4. cause severe pain even after the use of over-the-counter painkillers;
5. Difficulty drinking enough fluids to be sufficiently hydrated;
6. are accompanied by fever.

Are aphthae the same as the blisters of cold sores?

No, aphthae are different from the blisters of cold sores.

Non-herpetic, aphthous ulcers that form inside the mouth are not contagious.
Herpes sores are infections caused by the herpes simplex virus, they show up exclusively on the lips or outside the mouth and are infectious.

How to determine if a wound is an aphthae or a herpes ulcer?
Herpes labialis usually develops outside the mouth, around the lips, chin or nostrils.
Aphthae behave differently: they usually develop inside the mouth.

Treatment of aphthae in the mouth and tongue

If the ulcers are painful, the doctor may prescribe drug treatment to relieve symptoms.
It is important to make sure during pregnancy or lactation that these drugs are not contraindicated.

Antimicrobial mouthwash
Antimicrobial mouthwash helps kill bacteria, viruses or fungi that can cause an infection in your mouth if you are unable to brush your teeth correctly.
Chlorhexidine (CHX) is the most commonly prescribed mouthwash.
It is usually used twice a day.

Cortisones Cortisones
are medications that reduce inflammation.
Medications for ulceration in the mouth contain a low dose of cortisone to relieve the pain caused by the sores.
As soon as an aphthae develops in the mouth, drug treatment should be started.
Hydrocortisone is the most commonly prescribed cortisone.

If the aphthae in the mouth are very painful, the doctor may prescribe a painkiller that is applied directly to the ulcerations.
The doctor usually prescribes benzydamine (TANTUM VERDE),® which should not be administered in the form of a mouthwash or spray.
Benzydamine must not be used for more than seven consecutive days.
The doctor may prescribe:

  • anti-inflammatory Medications in tablet form or in sachets, for example, alrheumun.®
  • Over-the-counter products containing the narcotic benzocaine.

Natural remedies from grandmother’s time for aphthae in the mouth

To relieve pain and speed up the healing process:

  • Rinse your mouth. Salt water, sodium bicarbonate (dissolve 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate in <>/<> cup of warm water).
    Spit out the liquid after mouthwashing.
  • Mix a pulp from sodium bicarbonateand a little water and cover the aphthae with it.
  • Put ice in the mouth and let it melt slowly on the wound.
  • Brush teeth with a soft toothbrush and use a low-foaming toothpaste, such as Biotene or Buccagel.
  • Take a dietary supplement from the vitamin B100 complex daily.
  • Try a propolis tincture, which is available in pharmacies.
    Propolis is a putty resin that bees make to construct their hive, it has excellent antiseptic and healing properties.
  • Licorice, a licorice extract that has healing properties for the mucosa, available in health food stores and in powder form or as chewable tablets.
    So in the mouth form a saliva porridge and apply to the painful areas.
  • Prebiotics are products that help build the beneficial bacterial flora in the digestive tract, which are also helpful in the treatment of aphthae.
  • Reduce the pain of aphthae as much as possible by avoiding:
    • sour and spicy foods,
    • abrasive foods (for example, nuts, which can irritate the mucous membrane).

Natural remedies for aphthae in the mouth

Aloe vera Rinse your mouth with a little aloe vera
juice several times a day.
Apply aloe vera gel or apply the juice directly to the wound (obtained from the leaf interior of the plant).
Use 1 tsp gel of aloe vera three times a day.
Do not use packaged gel of aloe vera because it can be toxic.

Honey and turmeric: Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with <>/<> teaspoon of turmeric and apply to the wound.

Mouthwash from tea tree oil: Prepare a mouthwash by adding 5 drops of tea tree oil in 1/3 cup of water.
Keep this mouthwash in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out.
Tea tree oil acts as an antiseptic mouthwash and helps to avoid secondary infections and also heals the wound.
You can prepare a mouthwash by dissolving 30/<> teaspoon of table salt in a cup of water.
Keep this mouthwash in your mouth for <> seconds, then spit it out.

The most commonly used homeopathic remedies are:
1. Borax
2. Mercurius solubilis (mercury) 3. Nitricum acidum (nitric acid) 4. Sulfuricum acidum (sulfuric acid)

Diet and nutrition for aphthae in the mouth

According to natural healing concepts, an aphthae is a drain valve to eliminate toxins in the blood.
Many people have been able to solve their health problems with a natural diet, including:

  • Stone Age diet (Paleo diet)
  • Vegan or raw food diet
  • Blood group diet

These nutritional theories are based on unprocessed foods found in nature; Animals eat what nature offers them without making calculations about:

  • Calories
  • amount of vitamins and mineral salts contained,
  • Percentage of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

The body produces toxins that it must excrete via:

  • Respiration
  • Defecation
  • Urine
  • Skin.

As a rule, skin diseases arise not from problems of the skin, but from the accumulation of toxins in the blood.
For example, jaundice (jaundice) and itching can be caused by liver disease.
The skin can only heal when the amount of toxins in the blood is reduced. This is done by:

  • Reduction of toxin production through a natural diet (without cereals, dairy products, desserts, seasoning sauces, etc.) and reduction of the amount of food consumed.
  • Increase in waste excretion. Sports activities in the fresh air promote blood circulation in the skin. Here, the toxins can be secreted through sweat.
    A diet rich in juicy fruits, nuts and almonds, vegetables and legumes promotes bowel movements.

How long do the aphthae persist in the mouth? Prognosis

The recurrent small stomatitis aphthae or herpes are short-lived.
Correct medical treatment guarantees a good prognosis, even with large mouth ulcers.
The disease is not chronic, provided it is not a consequence:

  • an inflammatory pathology of the digestive tract,
  • of Behçet’s syndrome.

Small ulcers heal in about 10-14 days, but the herpes ulcers can persist for a month before they disappear.

Prevention of aphthae in the mouth

The prevention of aphthae is aimed at avoiding abrasive, acidic and spicy foods that cause pain and further irritation.
Dried fruits such as walnuts and artificial sugar (found in desserts) can promote relapses.

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