Ulcers can be present in the mouth for several reasons. They can result from local trauma to the oral tissues, or represent a more systemic problem such as immune defects. One particular type of ulceration is known as recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAU). These ulcers are generally small in size, but are very uncomfortable. They come and go on a regular basis, and last between 7-10 days. These ulcers cause considerable functional morbidity and so their correct diagnosis and management with corticosteroid anti-inflammatory creams and ointments to help reduce the discomfort and the duration of the ulcer is a significant patient service. The aims of treatment therefore are both to treat individual lesions and inhibit new lesion formation and this is achievable in most patients.

Recurrent aphthous ulcer on lower lip.


  2005 Oral Medicine and Pathology