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Treatment Of The Symptoms Of Aphthous Stomatitis

Aphthous stomatitis (aphthous ulcers, canker sores) can be a recurring problem for many patients. They appear as small to medium ulcerated areas on the cheeks, tongue, lips or palate. They are usually painful and have been shown to be related to many factors. These include stress, diet and nutrition, oral health, and general medical condition.


Any anxiety caused by internal or external factors such as job-related problems, family problems, personal medical condition, etc. can be a factor. Stress is the most common contributor to the condition.

Diet and Nutrition

Many foods in the diet will have an adverse effect on the ulcers. Most important are those with a high acid content.

Foods to be avoided are:

  • Tomatoes and tomato products
  • Citric fruits and juices
  • Cranberry juice
  • Coffee and tea (low acid coffee is available)
  • Spicy foods

Other foods in the diet which can be of benefit are:

  • Yogurt
  • Acidophilus milk or supplements

Other nutritional supplements which may be of value in controlling the severity of the symptoms are:

  • Multiple vitamins including vitamin C)
  • Lysine tablets (an essential amino acid) available over the counter at pharmacies and health food stores

Oral Health

Your general oral health will have a bearing on the condition. Untreated dental disease will weaken the lining of the mouth and make it more susceptible to further problems. Good oral hygiene routine dental care are essential. In addition, your dentist may prescribe:

  • Systemic or topical antibiotic for control of secondary infection
  • Topical anesthetic preparations for pain relief
  • Topical steroid preparations for control of inflammation

Oral General Medical Condition

Medical health conditions which lower body resistance can increase a patient's susceptibility to aphthous ulcers. A consultation with your physician may be recommended in persistent or severe cases.

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