Do you know those little blisters in your mouth that burn uncomfortably and make eating, drinking and talking difficult? If you are familiar with pustules on the lining of the mouth or gums, you have probably had or have so-called aphthous ulcers. These small spots on the lining of the mouth and gums are uncomfortable and painful. And everyone can be affected: children, adults or the elderly; Men and women alike.
Although these structures on the oral mucous membrane heal after a while without help, the quality of life is often very limited because of the painful complaints caused by aphthae. Many sufferers are therefore looking for caring products to alleviate their symptoms.
Where do aphthae come from and how do I get rid of them?
The causes of aphthae are very diverse, but have not yet been clearly clarified. The following factors can favor the development of aphthae:
- Weakened immune system
- Hormonal fluctuations (e.g. in the Pregnancy)
- Intolerance to certain foods (e.g. tomatoes, nuts, alcohol, citrus fruits, gluten)
- Mineral and vitamin deficiencies (e.g. vitamin B3, vitamin B12, folic acid, iron, zinc)
- Mechanical irritation from poorly seated Prostheses, Braces or too hard Toothbrushes
- Gastrointestinal disorders, e.g. B. in chronic intestinal diseases (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis)
- Other primary diseases (e.g. diabetes, celiac disease, chronic bowel disease, anemia (anemia))
- Stress and other psychological stress
- Certain chemical stimuli, e.g. B. the use of toothpastes with the foaming agent Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
Do infections or genetic causes play a role?
It is now accepted that aphthae are not caused by bacteria or viruses. Infection is therefore impossible. It is noticeable, however, that aphthae occur more frequently in certain families. It is therefore assumed that there is a genetic link and that aphthae are inherited.
Do aphthae heal by themselves?
The small blisters usually go away on their own after 10-14 days. During this time, it is important to support the healing process and relieve the pain in order to get through the day largely symptom-free. Only in rare cases is the oral mucosa injured so seriously that it does not heal quickly. In these cases, scarring can also usually be expected.
Aphthae: a recurring problem
Many people who have developed aphthous ulcers at one point tend to be afflicted again and again. Depending on the strength and severity, aphthous ulcers are often with Herpes confused, especially if more than one canker sore occurs at the same time. However, unlike herpes, aphthae are not contagious. So anyone who has worried about suffering from a contagious disease can breathe a sigh of relief.
How do I recognize an aphtha?
Aphthae are small injuries on the lining of the mouth, lips or gums. The edges are usually a little raised and reddened by the inflammation, while the tissue inside appears whitish-yellow.
Minoraphtha - the most common form
Minoraphtha are by far the most common. A good 80% of those affected have something to do with this form. They have a diameter of up to 5 millimeters and usually only penetrate the top layers of tissue. Often several minoraphthas are formed at the same time.
This form usually heals on its own after 1-2 weeks and without scarring. Nonetheless, minor naphtha can also be extremely painful.
Majoraphtha - the rare form
Approx. 10-15% of all those affected suffer from majoraphtha. This shape can reach a size of up to 3 centimeters and penetrates significantly deeper into the layers of the skin.
Major naphtha heal much more slowly. It can take several weeks for this variant to go away - in many cases it can leave a scar.
Herpetiform aphthae - easily confused with herpes
This variant only occurs in approx. 5-10% of those affected. There are many individual, very small aphthous ulcers that are very close together. Since the appearance of a herpes vesicle is similar, herpetiform forms are often confused with herpes.
This form also heals after 1 to 2 weeks, like minorapths, but can lead to scarring due to the larger tissue area affected.
With aphthous ulcers to the doctor?
Anyone who has ever had aphthous ulcers knows that a visit to the doctor is not absolutely necessary. Exception: In the case of severe pain or unusually large aphthous ulcers, a doctor can help to reduce the symptoms. If the aphthous ulcers do not regress over a longer period of time, a doctor should also be consulted.
Treatment of aphthous ulcers: chemical or natural?
Treatment for aphthous ulcers usually targets symptoms and is meant to reduce pain and inflammation.
When treating with medication, cortisone and salicylic acid are used, for example. However, these often cause the pain to increase first before relief occurs. In addition, side effects can occur from preparations containing cortisone.
Bee products quickly help with aphthae
An alternative to these treatments are healing-supporting ointments, gels and tinctures based on natural substances.
The New Zealand Manuka honey for example is considered a natural remedy with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects. The active ingredient methylglyoxal kills bacteria and promotes healing. Also Propolis, a mixture of tree resin, essential oils, salivary secretions and many other components made by bees can accelerate healing and alleviate symptoms. It is also said to have a natural antibiotic effect. Propolis is therefore found in the Apitherapy special application. Conaskin tincture combines the properties of these natural substances and can quickly help with aphthae and other small lesions of the oral mucosa and gums.