Aphthous mouth ulcers (aphthae) are a common variety of ulcer that form on the mucous membranes, typically in the oral cavity (mouth). Other names for aphthous ulcers include aphthous stomatitis and canker sores.
Aphthous ulcers are generally round in shape and form in the soft areas of the mouth such as the inside of the lips, the cheeks or the underside of the tongue. They are benign, non-contagious and can occur as single ulcers or in clusters.
In most instances, aphthous ulcers are recurrent – a condition known as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) – with each episode normally lasting for between 7 and 10 days.
The cause of the condition is unclear, and there is no cure, but treatment options are available to treat the pain the ulcers can cause.
Aphthous ulcers are the most common type of mouth ulcer, but they are not the only kind of mouth ulcers.
There are three main types:
Minor Aphthous Ulcers
These are the most common variety. They are small in size – usually less than 5 mm in diameter – and can form as a single ulcer or in a cluster. They typically do not cause much pain.
Major Aphthous Ulcers
These are less common, are generally 5 mm or larger and form singularly or in a pair. They can be painful, especially when eating or drinking, and last anywhere between two weeks and a number of months.
These can occur when multiple pinpoint lesions fuse together and form large, irregularly shaped ulcers. Herpetiform ulcers are so called because of their similarity in appearance to herpes, however, herpetiform ulceration is not caused by the herpes simplex virus.
High Concentration Matrine Propolis (Oral and Topical)
The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the potential of a product to reduce the number of outbreaks of RAS ulcers.
Propolis is a bee product used in some cultures as treatment for mouth ulcers. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients were assigned to take 500 mg of propolis or a placebo capsule daily. Subjects reported a baseline ulcer frequency and were contacted biweekly to record recurrences. Data were analyzed to determine if subjects had a decrease of 50% in outbreak frequency.
The data indicated a statistically significant reduction of outbreaks in the propolis group (Fisher's exact test, one sided, p = 0.04). Patients in the propolis group also self-reported a significant improvement in their quality of life (p = 0.03).
This study has shown propolis to be effective in decreasing the number of recurrences and improve the quality of life in patients who suffer from RAS.
Multidisciplinary rehabilitation program for Aphthous Ulcers
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