What is Mouth ulcer?
A mouth ulcer (also termed an oral ulcer, or a mucosal ulcer) is an ulcer that occurs on the mucous membrane of the oral cavity. Mouth ulcers are very common, occurring in association with many diseases and by many different mechanisms, but usually there is no serious underlying cause.
The two most common causes of oral ulceration are local trauma (e.g. rubbing from a sharp edge on a filling) and aphthous stomatitis ("canker sores"), a condition characterized by recurrent formation of oral ulcers for largely unknown reasons. Mouth ulcers often cause pain and discomfort, and may alter the person's choice of food while healing occurs (e.g. avoiding acidic or spicy foods and beverages).
They may form singly or multiple ulcers may appear at the same time (a "crop" of ulcers). Once formed, the ulcer may be maintained by inflammation and/or secondary infection. Rarely, a mouth ulcer that does not heal for many weeks may be a sign of oral cancer.