Aphthae are small tumors that form on the inflamed oral mucosa. They look spotty with a yellowish coating and usually remain for two weeks until they disappear. The clear process of developing canker sores is still largely unknown today. Women are affected more often than men because of hormonal fluctuations. Aphthae often occur lifelong in those affected. Children can also be affected.
The cause is thought to be micro-injuries to the oral mucosa, stress or an unbalanced lifestyle. Vitamin deficiency, food allergies, immune deficiency (e.g. HI virus infection) or a genetic disposition can also be beneficial for the development of canker sores.
Specialists divide canker sores into three sizes:
- The most common form is very small canker sores with a size of a few millimeters, which often occurs on the inside of the cheek and lips. This minor form disappeared again after about two weeks.
- The rarer major form is characterized by large spots (a few centimeters) and occurs on the lips and in the back of the palate. It can lead for up to two months and heals with a scar.
- The very rare herpetifomer type can become very uncomfortable and resemble herpes sores. It occurs across the entire oral mucosa and lasts about 14 days.
It is important to differentiate between a canker sore and a herpes infection in the mouth. The symptoms can be very similar. The Coxackie virus has canker sores and blisters on the hands and feet.
Aphthae attack the oral mucosa and ingested hot or sour foods cause severe pain to those affected. Spontaneous bleeding of the mucous membrane, fatigue, difficulty swallowing and the appearance of bad breath are possible.
The diagnosis, the tumor is made by the specialist through the anamnesis and an examination. Treatment only extends to fighting symptoms. Those affected should refrain from alcohol and irritating foods. In addition, pain medication as needed and an antibacterial mouthwash can provide relief.