Diagnosis of Oral Ulcers
Ulceration is one of the most common complaints of patients who attend their GPs with an oral problem and the differential diagnosis is extensive (1). However, the artificial distinction between medicine and dentistry has led to this important area of disease presentation being overlooked in medical training, and many doctors therefore feel inadequately prepared to deal with oral mucosal disease. Although the cause of ulceration is often local, the oral mucosa is an important site of manifestation of many systemic conditions and oral ulceration may be the initial presentation in such cases. The oral mucosa can be easily examined with a good light and a wooden spatula, and a thorough oral inspection should be part of every clinical examination since it is such a readily accessible source of diagnostic information. Causes of oral ulceration range from the relatively trivial, e.g. traumatic ulcers, to the serious, e.g. oral cancer or pemphigus vulgaris .The key to appropriate therapy is accurate diagnosis and this may require liaison between general and specialist medical and dental practitioners. While many oral ulcers are the result of chronic trauma, some may indicate an underlying systemic condition such as a gastrointestinal dysfunction, malignancy, immunologic abnormality, or cutaneous disease. (2) Herein; we will discuss how to differentiate and diagnose varying types of oral ulcers and provide treatment strategies.
The diagnosis and treatment of oral lesions is often challenging due to the clinician’s limited exposure to the conditions that may cause the lesions and their similar appearances. While many oral ulcers are the result of chronic trauma, some may indicate an underlying systemic condition such as a gastrointestinal dysfunction, malignancy, immunologic abnormality, or cutaneous disease. Correctly establishing a definitive diagnosis is of major importance to clinicians who manage patients with oral mucosal disease. Some of these diseases are infectious; however, most are chronic, symptomatic, and desquamate. Treatment and management requires an understanding of the immunopathology nature of the lesion. This review will address how to differentiate and diagnose varying types of oral ulcers and provide a treatment strategy