Aphthous Ulcer Mouth


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The aim of this article, “Aphthous Ulcer Mouth”, and a subsequent one entitled “Geographic Tongue Info“, is to help the Public with two common mouth conditions that are HARMLESS.

These conditions which occur commonly throughout the world, are oral aphthous ulcers and geographic tongue. We will begin with the aphthous ulcer of the mouth, and continue the health education in the subsequent article.

The reason is that these conditions cause a lot of alarm and distress to sufferers. This results in unnecessary investigations and treatments, all of which consume a lot of time and money. The results to the global economy are devastating.

Usually these conditions require no more than reassurance and supportive treatment. Therefore links to such useful, over-the-counter treatments are given straight away in the next section.


1. (Paid link)  Bonjela cream



2. (Paid link)  Panadol (Paracetamol) 500mg tablets


This is also called a “Canker sore”. It is a shallow ulcer that occurs in the mouth, usually on the underside or side of the tongue. Or it may be on the gums or the junction of the gums and base of the mouth.

It is very painful, especially when it is at the latter position (junction of the gums and base of the mouth). Pain makes eating or talking difficult.

The ulcer is usually reddish, and surrounded by a whitish ring or halo. The edge of this small wound is smooth. Bleeding does not occur.

The aphthous ulcer takes a few days to weeks. Then it disappears, only to recur a few weeks later. This cycle can take months to years.

Members of the public are sometimes aware of this condition and diagnose themselves. It is however important that a Medical Diagnosis is made, so that dangerous conditions are excluded.

However, it should be reiterated that no investigations (blood tests, imaging, etc) are required in order to arrive at the diagnosis.

Once a firm diagnosis has been made, the patient can then be reassured. And it is important that they accept that the condition is harmless.

Treatment is supportive, aimed at relieving pain and enabling eating and talking. Anaesthetic gels (link above) and pastes are used locally. Painkillers by mouth may be added in cases of severe pain.


Oral aphthous ulcers and geographic tongue are common mouth conditions that occur world-wide. They are costly in terms of the distress they cause to patients (and sometimes to Healthcare Workers!).

The amount of time spent on investigations is unwarranted. And the use of unnecessary and sometimes expensive medications including antifungal agents and antibiotics, is inappropriate and potentially harmful.

What is important is that a Medical Diagnosis should be made. Secondly, dangerous conditions like oral cancer be excluded. Usually this can be achieved by careful history-taking and an examination of the mouth, the surrounding area and the patient as a whole.


Comments, questions or any contribution are very welcome and go a long way in improving this website that is at your service, Esteemed Reader.

Kindly take a minute or so to share your thoughts on this or any other article on this website. And thanks in advance!

6 Replies to “Aphthous Ulcer Mouth”

  1. Hello there thanks for the review it was really helpful and of great value. It is quite interesting to know that oral aphthous ulcers and geographic tongue are harmless. Before, I used to think that anyone with this kinds of tongue defaults are suffering from one healh challenge or the other. Thanks to you I have been to know better that they are normal conditions that anyone could go through

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for reading the article and taking the trouble to leave a comment – very much appreciated!

      Glad that the article has been of help to you and many other Readers.


  2. Thanks for sharing! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had canker sores. I believe it is due to not drinking enough water (at least that’s what my mom says). 

    Anyway, I was also concerned that my recurring sores were something of an underlying, glad to know these are totally normal, albeit very annoying to have due to the constant pain. It also affects the teeth, as my teeth get sore whenever I have canker sores.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for sharing your story, although it’s painful! 😥

      The more we worry about certain problems in life, the worse they become! What a trap we find ourselves in!

      I wish and pray that you will find the strength and means to break out of the vicious cycle, and live life fully and freely, as my website suggests.

      Regards. 😉

  3. This article is very insightful, thank you! I always get nervous when I get Canker sores, but I’ve never really understood them. It always hurts for a few days, but then the pain subsides and I forget about it. It is nice to finally know a little more about what is happening when I get them, and I feel like anyone else who reads this will feel the same because this is a very common issue. I also appreciate the link to Bonjela; it is nice to know there are remedies and there are other options to just “waiting it out”. Great post!

    1. Thanks so very much; great comment!!

      I cannot only understand, but I can FEEL that you have been there, done that! Thanks for relating your story.

      Stress and anxiety, which unfortunately are inevitable in modern times, are such destructive forces! We really need to start last year, addressing the stresses around us, for the betterment of our holistic health.

      Warmest regards.

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