Mouth ulcer: causes and symptoms

                           
A mouth ulcer is an ulcer that occurs on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity . [1] Mouth ulcers are very common, occurring in association with many diseases and by many different mechanisms, but usually there is no serious underlying cause

Synonyms :  Oral ulcer, mucosal ulce
A mouth ulcer (in this case asso
A mouth ulcer (in this case associ with aphthous stomatitis ) on the la mucosa 


(lining of the lower lip).
Specialty Oral medicine
[edit on

The two most common causes of oral ulceration are local trauma (e.g. rubbing from a sharp edge on a broken filling) and aphthous stomatitis ("canker sores"), a condition characterized by recurrent formation of oral ulcers for largely unknown reasons. Mouth ulcers often cause pain and discomfort, and may alter the person's choice of food while healing occurs (e.g. avoiding acidic or spicy foods and beverages).
They may form individually or multiple ulcers may appear at the same time (a "crop" of ulcers). Once formed, the ulcer may be maintained by inflammation and/or secondary infection. Rarely, a mouth ulcer that does not heal may be a sign of oral cancer .

DefinitionThe two most common causes of oral ulceration are local trauma (e.g. rubbing from a sharp edge on a broken filling) and aphthous stomatitis ("canker sores"), a condition characterized by recurrent formation of oral ulcers for largely unknown reasons. Mouth ulcers often cause pain and discomfort, and may alter the person's choice of food while healing occurs (e.g. avoiding acidic or spicy foods and beverages).
They may form individually or multiple ulcers may appear at the same time (a "crop" of ulcers). Once formed, the ulcer may be maintained by inflammation and/or secondary infection. Rarely, a mouth ulcer that does not heal may be a sign of oral cancer .

Definition

Diagramatic representation of mucosal erosion (left), excoriation (center), and ulceration (right)
An ulcer (/ ˈʌlsər/ ; from Latin ulcus, "ulcer, sore") [2] is a break in the skin or mucous membrane with loss of surface tissue and the disintegration and
necrosis of epithelial tissue.[3] A
mucosal ulcer is an ulcer which specifically occurs on a mucous membrane. An ulcer is a tissue defect which has penetrated the epithelial-
connective tissue border, with its base at a deep level in the submucosa , or even within muscle or periosteum. [4] An ulcer is a deeper breach of the epithelium than an erosion or an excoriation, and involves damage to both epithelium and lamina propria.[5]
An erosion is a superficial breach of the epithelium, with little damage to the underlying lamina propria. [5] A
mucosal erosion is an erosion which specifically occurs on a mucous membrane. Only the superficial epithelial cells of the epidermis or of the mucosa are lost, and the lesion can reach the depth of the basement membrane. [4] Erosions heal without scar formation. [4]
Excoriation is a term sometimes used to describe a breach of the epithelium which is deeper than an erosion but shallower than an ulcer. This type of lesion is tangential to the rete pegs and shows punctiform (small pinhead spots) bleeding, caused by exposed
capillary loops. [4]

Differential diagnosis
Aphthous stomatitis and local trauma are very common causes of oral ulceration; the many other possible causes are all rare in comparison.
Traumatic ulceration
Most mouth ulcers that are not associated with recurrent aphthous stomatitis are caused by local trauma. The mucous membrane lining of the mouth is thinner than the skin, and easily damaged by mechanical, thermal (heat/cold), chemical, or electrical means, or by irradiation.

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