DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aphthous ulcer. Close-up of an aphthous ulcer (mouth ulcer) on the palate (roof) of a 58-year- old woman's mouth. The ulcer is surrounded by red inflamed tissue. An aphthous ulcer usually occurs on a mucous membrane, inside a cheek or on the lips. The small painful sore lasts up to two weeks before disappearing. The cause of an aphthous ulcer is not understood, although it may be triggered by injury (by a toothbrush, for example) and is known to sometimes contain Streptococcus bacteria. Treatment is palliative, consisting mainly of soothing ointments and painkilling drugs.
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