Mouth ulcers (aphthous ulcers)

Small, superficial ulcers in the mucous membrane of the mouth, occurring above all on the inside of the lips and the tongue. They are yellowish-white, with a red, inflamed edge. Eating is difficult, because they can be very painful. They often clear up spontaneously after a time, but can unfortunately recur. The cause is not known, and no effective treatment has so far been developed. Easing the pain is a possibility. Stomatitis herpetica is a similar condition, common in children who have been in contact with the herpes simplex virus; as well as the usual cold sores on the lips, ulcers develop in the mouth, less obvious than the mouth ulcers under discussion, but spreading throughout the mouth. Fever is often associated with this condition, and even though the cause is known, there is still no treatment. If the virus returns it produces cold sores but no ulcers.