What Are Systemic Disease Causes of Oral Ulcers?
Discussion Oral ulcers are common problems seen by dentists but pediatricians also see them. Usually families have are concerned because they are painful and acute. Ulcers are sometime noticed by the physician and not the family as in the case of herpangina or hand-foot and mouth disease. Chronic or recurrent ulcerations present less commonly and therefore it may be more difficult to determine their etiology. Many of the systemic disease causes of oral ulcers are overall infrequent and/or not common in the pediatric age range. Ulcers can be classified in several ways but acute ulcers are usually painful and last less than 2 weeks and chronic ulcers may or may not be painful and lasts more than 2 weeks. Minor ulcers are considered to be 5 mm, can be deep, usually are single lesions and can heal with scaring. They heal within 7-10 days. Trauma (e.g. mechanical, heat, chemical) is one of the most common reasons for ulcers. These generally heal quickly unless there is ongoing trauma such as a habit. Recurrent apthous stomatitis (RAS) or canker sores present clinically as shallow with a necrotic center and red halo surrounding the ulceration. They are very commonly seen in younger children. The cause is unknown but probably the patient has genetic susceptibility with another health problems that exacerbates the stomatitis and/or other agents that trigger then such as medication, food, etc. Herpetiform aphthous ulcers are a variation of RAS that are
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