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       Album: Aphthous ulcer of the soft palate
Category: Otolaryngology more albums: 

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Aphthous ulcer on the soft palate in a 23 year old young male.

These ulcers are a common and painful problem. They can be classified into three different types: minor, major and herpetiform.

Minor: On labial or buccal mucosa, the soft palate and the floor of the mouth. They are small (less that 1 cm in diameter) and shallow. They can be singular or multiple.

Major: Large (more than 1 cm indiameter) and deep. Can scar with healing.

Herpetiform: Numerous and vesicular.

Causes of aphthous ulcers are not well understood. They don't appear to be caused by viruses or bacteria, although an allergy to a type of bacterium found in the mouth may trigger them in some people. They could be due to autoimmune reasons (Lupus, Behcet's Disease and Crohn's Disease). Nutritional deficiencies (vitaminB12,folic acid, vitamin C, and iron) could be the reason in some cases (about 20% of cases in a British study). Emotional stress, local trauma to the mouth, braces, harsh tooth brushing, hot food, smoking, dentures all have been mentioned as etiologic factors. Female sex hormones also play a role in these lesions.