Mouth Ulcers (Stomatitis)



Mouth ulcers are called stomatitis in the medical terminology. This is due to an inflammation of the mucous membrane of mouth including lips, with or without oral ulceration. There are two main forms of stomatitis. These are herpes stomatitis and aphthous stomatitis. Both forms usually occur more often in children and teens.

Herpes stomatitis is an infection, usually in young children between the ages of six months and 5 years. Aphthous stomatitis is much more common in young people, most often between 10 and 19 years old.  This is also called canker sores. They are one or a cluster of small pits or ulcers in the cheeks, gums, the inside of the lips, or on the tongue.


Herpes stomatitis is caused by infection of the HSV1 virus in young children. Aphthous stomatitis is caused by a variety of problems with oral hygiene or damage to mucous membranes.

Some potential causative factors that induce stomatitis are dryness of oral tissues from breathing through the mouth due to clogged nasal passages, small injuries due to dental work or accidental cheek bite. Sharp tooth surfaces, dental braces or retainers are the local irritants. Allergic reactions such as gluten allergy, food sensitivities to strawberries, citrus fruits, coffee, chocolate, eggs, cheese, or nuts, allergic response to certain bacteria in the mouth may also cause stomatitis, Inflammatory bowel diseases, autoimmune disease that attacks cells in the mouth, HIV/AIDS, weakened immune system, deficiency in Vitamin B12, folic acid, iron, or zinc, certain medications are also known to  cause stomatitis.

Nutritional deficiencies, stress factors, excessive tobacco and alcohol and drug/ treatment induced, as in case of radiotherapy (iatrogenic) are exegetic factors that could induce stomatitis.


Red mucous membrane with soreness of mouth is the commonest symptom. Buccal cavity might be painful and at times associated with fever, usually lasts for 7-10 days.

Herpetic stomatitis is usually presents with by multiple blisters that occur in the gums, palate, cheeks, tongue, or lip border. Eating, drinking, and swallowing may be difficult. Dehydration is a risk. Drooling, pain, and swollen gums can occur. The child can be very irritable. Fever is an indication of infection, which can get as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The fever occurs a few days before the blisters appear. When the blisters pop, ulcers can form in their place. Secondary infections of these ulcers can occur. The entire infection lasts between 7-10 days.

Aphthous stomatitis or canker sores are round or oval ulcers with a red, inflamed border. The center is usually white or yellow. Most canker sores are small and oval, and heal within 1-2 weeks without scarring. Larger, irregular sores can occur with extensive injury and take six or more weeks to heal. These can leave scars in the mouth.

Adults may develop canker sore These are tiny, but occur in clusters of 10-100. They heal within two weeks.


High grade fever


General managements:

  • Avoid hot beverages/food as well as salty, spicy or citrus based foods
  • Gargle with cold water or ice pops if burning is present
  • Drink more water
  • Practice proper dental care

Recurring mouth ulcers can be treated using homeopathy. Depending on the cause behind the ulcers, the treatment has to be targeted. Commonly used Homoeopathic remedies are commonly used are Borax, Arsenicum album, Sulphuricum acidum, Mercurius solibilis,  Kali muitacum.  Mouth ulcers could be due to several underlying causes and therefore,  the medicines should be taken under  advice of a homeopath.



  • PUBLISHED DATE : Jun 23, 2016
  • PUBLISHED BY : Zahid
  • CREATED / VALIDATED BY : Dr. Eswara Das
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Jun 23, 2016


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