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Afte – Causes, Types and Treatment

Aphthas are small, painful and recurrent lesions , most commonly occurring on the movable parts of the mucous membrane of the oral cavity or on the inner surface of the lips, tongue, cheek mucosa or soft palate .

The placement of afti is their most important characteristic and also one of the diagnostic criteria for differentiating it from the oral damage caused by the herpes simplex virus . Unlike herpes, aftershocks never occur on the skin and functional mucous membranes or palate and gums.

Symptoms accompanying the onset of afts are burning and sometimes intense pain in the affected area.

These are small white , gray or yellow wounds that can occur individually or in groups. About 30% of the population suffer from afts.

According to the mechanism of their origin, they can be classified as autoimmune diseases due to the production of antibodies to cells of the oral epithelium, but they are not a classic autoimmune disease because they have a tendency to spontaneously emerge and disappear.

Causes of afts

The cause of afts is not completely clear, but there are certain factors that are associated with their formation. Oral ulcers usually occur when you are stressed , exhausted or sick . There are also so-called traumatic ulcers resulting from injury to the oral mucosa such as a toothbrush, damaged sharp tooth, hot food, a bite of the mouth or tongue.

In very rare cases, an oral ulcer or aft can be a sign of anemia or a tumor of the mouth or tongue.

The following conditions are most commonly associated with the appearance of afti:

  • Emotional stress (due to increased secretion of cortisone hormones)
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Diet
  • Lack of vitamins and minerals
  • Impaired immune status of a person
  • Anemia or anemia (due to the lack of iron, folate, and vitamin B complex)
  • Decreased neutrophil leukocyte count in the blood
  • Local trauma
  • Allergic conditions
  • Slow flow in epithelial blood vessels
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Chronic diseases that lead to weakening of the immune system
  • Some medicines: aspirin, NSAIDs, antibiotics, nicotine substitutes, and fungal drugs

Also, there are additional factors that play a role in the formation of afts. Heritability factor is especially emphasized , since almost half of the patients in the family have a person with aft.

Some women have been shown to have AFT more often in the second half of the menstrual cycle . However, the link between endocrine factors and afti has not yet been elucidated.

Gastrointestinal diseases , such as Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis , can also cause aftershocks, given the reduced chance of absorption of vitamins and minerals. In certain cases, affe may also occur in the presence of Helicobacter pylori 

Types of afts

In terms of size, afferents can occur in three clinical forms:

  • Small aphthas  – have a diameter of less than one centimeter, and in some patients may occur continuously over several consecutive months. Although very painful, small afts are not accompanied by a general disorder of health and heal without scars.
  • Large aphthas have a diameter greater than one centimeter, most commonly located on the edges of the tongue , the mucous membranes of the cheeks , the soft palate, and the fringe . They are not painful, but can lead to general health disorders, most commonly manifested by fever and joint pain. Large apes heal slowly and can leave scars.
  • Herpetiform affections appear on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity , and especially below the tongue. They manifest as a large number of small sores, which are very painful and are usually located on inflamed and swollen mucous membranes. In the case of herpetiform afts , salivary secretion is increased , and swallowing and speech are impaired. They usually last 7-14 days.

Afti prevention

Although the causes of afts have not yet been fully understood, general guidelines should help. Well, at least so you can say you made it all.

  • Eat Healthy (Take Fruits and Vegetables Intake)
  • Increase resistance to infections by consuming garlic, onions, vitamin C-rich foods, flavonoids and zinc .
  • Avoid the use of classic toothpastes containing lauryl sodium sulfate .

When to seek medical help?

Although affections appear to be harmless changes in the oral cavity, this may not be the case. They can be extremely painful and irritating. You should seek medical help in these situations:

  • if the aft does not heal within a week or increases
  • if the problem recurs frequently (several times a month and every month)
  • if you suspect the cause is a toothache (gum infection)
  • if you cough with it, you have diarrhea and are prone to frequent infections
  • if you suspect that afte occurs as a result of taking a medicine
  • A few days before the afta outbreak, itching or burning in the mouth can be felt . If you are otherwise prone to afta, it is important that you start treatment already. Aphthas are generally treated symptomatically, with topical administration of antiseptics, anesthetics  and anti-inflammatory drugs .

    Corticosteroid drops or ointments are the most commonly used medication , and exceptionally, corticosteroid injections can be used in the case of major aftershocks . Corticosteroids suppress inflammation and accelerate healing, thereby reducing pain and shortening the duration of afts.

    Antiseptics such as chlorhexidine or hexetidine are used to prevent secondary infection , while preparations based on vitamin B6 and lysozyme may be used to accelerate healing . In case of extremely painful aftershocks, a topical gel anesthetic is recommended .

    Given that vitamin B12, folic acid and iron deficiency can cause afts, in these cases supplementing them significantly improves the patient’s condition. In case of systemic diseases such as gastric diseases or anemia, adequate systemic therapy is used.

    Natural aft treatment

    You can find natural remedies for natural aft treatment in your own home closet . Aromatherapy will also help in healing .

    • Soothe afte by swallowing several times a day cold tea (any), sage tea for its antiseptic effect.
    • Antiseptic effect and have some essential oils: geranium , lavender , lemon , mirino and čajevčevo .
    • Mix five drops of tea tree oil, three drops of lemon and two myrrh with two and a half teaspoons of grapefruit seed oil. Apply the mixture every two hours to the area where the aft is located.
    • You can make mouthwash with one drop of tea tree tea, geranium and lavender oil. Rinse your mouth 3-4 times a day with this solution .

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Written by Radica

Smarty PantsBookwormWordsmith BuddyContent Author


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