What are recurrent mouth ulcers?
Ulcers are sores that appear inside the mouth and can be
itchy or painful. A recurrent ulcer is one that comes and
goes, sometimes every few weeks. They are different from
cold sores, which appear on the outer lips and are due to a
They are common with over 60% of the population suffering
from recurrent mouth ulcers at some time in their lives.
Often they begin in childhood, but most people grow out of
them by their late twenties. In many cases, several
members of the family may suffer from these ulcers, which
can be due to a family tendency rather than being passed
Where do they occur?
Small ulcers can appear inside the cheeks, on the lips,
tongue, gums, and, more rarely, the roof of the mouth.
Most of these ulcers (minor type) are the size of the top of
a pencil and can sometimes come in clusters.
Large ulcers (major type) may appear near the tonsils and
can be very painful, especially when swallowing.
It is also possible to have up to 100 very small ulcers
(herpetiform type). However, these last two types are very
You may get ulcers in other parts of the body, e.g. eyes or
genital area. It is important to tell your dentist / doctor
|Photos of Oral Ulcers (Aphthae)
|Last Updated 23rd November 2010