Etiology and management of recurrent aphthous stomatitis
- Cite this article as:
- Greenberg, M.S. & Pinto, A. Curr Infect Dis Rep (2003) 5: 194. doi:10.1007/s11908-003-0073-z
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Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is an ulcerative condition that affects the oral mucosa without evidence of an underlying medical disorder. RAS is characterized by the appearance of round, shallow ulcerations surrounded by inflammation that chiefly involves the nonkeratinized mucosa. The etiology of RAS is unknown, but has a strong hereditary component and appears to be related to an immune reaction against the oral mucosa. RAS must be distinguished from other diseases that cause recurring oral ulcers such as BehÇet’s syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Crohn’s disease. This paper reviews the current theories regarding the etiology of RAS, the clinical evaluation of patients with recurring aphthous ulcers, and describes current treatment options for this condition.