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Aphthous ulcer refers to painful and recurrent lesions in oral mucosa. Aphthous ulcer can occur in large, small, and herpes forms. These lesions have a circular or oval form and they appear with a gray-yellow color, red margins, and an almost dominant form. In terms of location, aphthous ulcer mainly affects the anterior part of the oral cavity, and the most common locations of aphthous ulcer are above the lip, buccal mucosa, oral palm, under and sides of the tongue.
As many diseases, genetic predisposition and family history are effective factors in occurrence of aphthous ulcer. Studies suggest that the children born to patients without aphthous ulcer have a 20% probability of being involved in aphthous ulcer lesions.
Although some researchers have considered aphthous ulcer as an autoimmune disease, the role of immunity factors in the occurrence of aphthous ulcer has not been clearly specified yet.
It seems that stress is considered as at least one underlying cause of occurrence of aphthous ulcer. As indicated in different studies, the ratio of occurrence of aphthous ulcer in people with stress to the healthy people suggests a significant relationship.
Some food allergies are effective in the occurrence of aphthous ulcer. Even if the allergies to some foods such as hazelnut, walnut, chocolate, honey, tomato, strawberry, chewing gum, and some toothpastes are not a primary cause, they can be considered at least as a predisposing factor.
Occurrence or exacerbation of aphthous ulcer before menstruation period and its relief during pregnancy have proven the hormonal changes and especially increased estrogen as an effective agent in occurrence of aphthous ulcer lesions.
Some vitamin deficiencies are effective in the occurrence of aphthous ulcer. Deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron has been reported in 5-15% of patients affected by aphthous ulcer; usually, improving these deficiencies can lead to decrease of the lesion’s severity.
Trauma, bacterial agents, digestive disorders, and other similar agents have been introduced as predisposing factors in occurrence of aphthous ulcer.
Usually, aphthous ulcer improves without any intervention; however, during the occurrence period, it is accompanied by pain and irritation. Aphthous ulcer mainly occurs in adolescence and people in their 30s, and it is more prevalent among women.
The following solutions will help to relieve the pain caused by aphthous ulcer:
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