Aphthae are a common disorder of the oral cavity. The course of the disease is relatively short, but very unpleasant and associated with symptoms such as itching, scratching and burning. We will briefly explain the cause of the disease, describe its course and discuss its treatment, especially with natural remedies. Some herbal teas can also be quite effective.
A quarter of the population suffers from aphthae
The aphthae most often affect children and young people, the number of sufferers decreases after the thirtieth year of life. Women suffer from aphthae more often than men.
Aphthae are one of the most common diseases of the oral cavity, affecting about a quarter of the population in highly developed countries. If a person has ever been through this disease, he/she still has to expect that the disease recurs several times. There are also people who have both a healing and a new sore in the mouth. If you already know the aphthous sores, you know that a small ulcer, that uncomfortably itches and burns, builds up. Unfortunately, it is not clear why the aphthae appear. There are different theories. The good news is that these small sores are not contagious.
Where do the aphthae form?
The aphthae do not appear everywhere in the oral cavity, but only in those places where the upper layer of the mucous membrane does not contain enough keratin, for example in the front part of the mouth, on the side of the tongue and below the tongue. The aphthous ulcers sometimes develop also on the soft palate and on the tonsils, but almost never on the hard palate or around the gums.
Already 1–3 days before a purulent sore forms you can already feel an unpleasant itching and scratching sensation in the affected area. Later, a small blister appears, which then bursts and forms a small ulcer. Its edges are marked by a reddish area, the inner part of the ulcer is under the level of the healthy mucous membrane. The affected area is not large, just local, not more than 0,5 cm wide. One usually suffers from one aphthous ulcer only, more of them rarely occur simultaneously in the oral cavity.
The time of healing depends on the size of the aphthous ulcers. It may take 1–2 weeks with smaller aphthous ulcers, but the larger ones can heal two or three months. The smaller aphthae often disappear completely; after the healed larger ones heal scars in the oral cavity may remain.
The causes of the aphthous ulcers and their treatment
The doctors still do not agree on what is the exact cause of these little inflammated ulcers. It could be viruses, bacteria or vitamin deficiencies, but none of these theories have been definitively proven.
It has been stated in recent years that in certain patients the formation of aphthae is associated with a lack of folic acid, iron or vitamin B2. The cause can therefore be quite commonplace, maybe a small injury in the oral cavity, a small bite or a badly-fitting denture. Allegedly, stress or menstrual bleeding may also play a role.
There are still many unanswered questions in the treatment of aphthae as well. If the cause is unknown, finding a cure is difficult. The dentists eliminate the symptoms with special solutions of zinc chloride, silver nitrate and hydrogen peroxide. The aphthae are etched with the help of this solution and the pain disappears. There are also plenty of coverage creams, gels and rinse solutions to disinfect the affected area at home.
Careful hygiene of the oral cavity is extremely important because the different deposits on the teeth, on the tongue or in the mouth can support the existence of many microorganisms that aggravate the condition of the aphthous ulcer. It is important to drink enough and watch the development of the ulcer. If ever new aphthae develop in the mouth or the affected person has a fever, a visit to the dentist is necessary. If the aphtha does not heal even after a long time, it can by caused with a completely different disease, the appearance and course of which is similar to the aphthous ulcer.
Treatment with natural remedies
The aphthae can itch and burn very unpleasantly, therefore it is necessary to reduce the time of the disease to a minimum. If you suffer from aphthae, avoid hot drinks and spicy foods to keep the affected area from irritation – it slows the healing process.
There are quite a few natural remedies. Decide for yourself, what helps you best. Do not forget that when using natural remedies it may take a bit longer before relief comes, but the results will be much better in the end.
- Rinse mouth with a solution of salt in water. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water, rinse the mouth several times a day with the solution and gargle.
- If you want to relieve local pain and numb the oral cavity, you can also suck on an ice cube.
- You can also put tea bags with chamomile tea on the aphthae – this relieves the inflammation.
- It is also good to consume probiotic dairy products more often – they renew the balance of different bacteria in the mouth. It is recommended to take a spoonful of yogurt three times a day.
- Chewing liquorice also helps and shortens the time of healing.
- Eat onions frequently. They contain an essence that has a disinfecting effect and increases the resistance of the organism.
- You can also try the popular coconut oil. To do this, smear the affected area with a cotton swab or with the tips of your fingers and let it work as long as possible. The coconut oil can also be thickened with beeswax, the optimal amount is a spoonful of coconut oil and ½ teaspoon beeswax.
- Aloe vera has a healing effect, too. Dilute the aloe vera gel with water and rinse the oral cavity at least three times a day, especially the affected area.
- Oral aphthae can also be treated with propolis. Propolis drops contain potent antimicrobials and can be applied to the skin or into the oral cavity. Propolis is very effective when dealing with bacteria, fungal infections and other ailments.
- There are other proven natural remedies, which may not be mentioned here for legal reasons. More questions? Write us please, we will get in touch asap!