Gbex says: An aphthous ulcer also known as a canker sore, is a type of oral ulcer, which presents as a painful open sore inside the mouth or upper throat characterized by a break in the mucous membrane. Its cause is unknown, but they are not contagious.
The condition is also known as aphthous stomatitis, and alternatively as Sutton's Disease, especially in the case of major, multiple, or recurring ulcers.
The term aphtha means ulcer; it has been used for many years to describe areas of ulceration on mucous membranes.
Aphthous stomatitis is a condition which is characterized by recurrent discrete areas of ulceration which are almost always painful. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) can be distinguished from other diseases with similar-appearing oral lesions, such as certain viral exanthems or herpes simplex, by their tendency to recur, and their multiplicity and chronicity.
Recurrent aphthous stomatitis is one of the most common oral conditions. At least 10% of the population has it, and women are more often affected than men. About 30–40% of patients with recurrent aphthae report a family history.
Aphthous ulcers usually begin with a tingling or burning sensation at the site of the future aphthous ulcer. In a few days, they often progress to form a red spot or bump, followed by an open ulcer.
The aphthous ulcer appears as a white or yellow oval with an inflamed red border. Sometimes a white circle or halo around the lesion can be observed. The gray-, white-, or yellow-colored area within the red boundary is due to the formation of layers of fibrin, a protein involved in the clotting of blood.
The ulcer, which itself is often extremely painful, especially when agitated, may be accompanied by a painful swelling of the lymph nodes below the jaw, which can be mistaken for toothache; another symptom is fever. A sore on the gums may be accompanied by discomfort or pain in the teeth.
rauma to the mouth is the most common trigger.Physical trauma, such as that caused by toothbrush abrasions, laceration with sharp or abrasive foods (such as toast, potato chips or other objects), accidental biting (particularly common with sharp canine teeth), after losing teeth, or dental braces can cause aphthous ulcers by breaking the mucous membrane.
Other factors, such as chemical irritants or thermal injury, may also lead to the development of ulcers. Using a toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) may reduce the frequency of aphthous ulcers but some studies have found no connection between SLS in toothpaste and aphthous ulcers.