Oral ulcer is a common problem which usually presents like a white oval or round lesion with a red margin. There are different types of oral ulcers which make it complicated to diagnose and to treat.
Types of Oral ulcers:
- Minor Aphthous ulcer: It is the most common type of ulcer. It presents as mild to moderate pain or burning sensation in the mouth which usually resolves within 7 days without any treatment. Most commonly caused due to stress and Vitamin C deficiency. Management mostly involves reducing the burning sensation or pain and super infection of the ulcer.
- Major Aphthous ulcer: In this kind of ulcer, the ulcers are usually big (more than 10mm) size and the ulcer takes 5-10 weeks to heal. This kind of ulcer is seen in patients having gastro intestinal problems, blood related problems and also in patients having AIDS. Treatment involves both symptomatic and steroids (Topical application and tablets).
- Oral ulcers due to Viral infection: It presents as multiple small ulcers which later fuse to form larger ulcers. Mostly these ulcers are accompanied by fever or other symptoms assembling viral infection. Management primarily involves symptomatic treatment to reduce the pain caused by ulcer.
- Oral ulcers due to systemic factors: Systemic factors such as auto immune disease and vesiculo bullous conditions can cause oral ulcers. Infections like Syphilis and Tuberculosis can also cause large non healing oral ulcers. Oral ulcers can also appear in patients with severe immuno compromised condition.
To summarise there are multiple causes and types of oral ulcers. Hence a thorough examination is mandatory to treat the ulcers effectively.
It is very important to maintain the oral cavity clean to avoid super infection over the ulcer and to aid in quick healing of ulcer.