O.J. STAATS MD / CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY O.J. STAATS MD / CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aspirin burn in mouth of patient. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) has a caustic (acidic) effect if left in contact with the mucosal lining of the mouth for an extended period of time. Aspirin is sometimes placed adjacent to a painful tooth in the mistaken belief that it will relieve the symptoms. Instead it causes epithelial necrosis (death of the lining inside the mouth), wounds, sores, inflammation and ulceration. Here, hyperkeratosis (thickening of the layer of keratin on the epithelium) has occurred on the lining of the cheek (buccal mucosa) and can be seen as a white lesion. A typical aspirin burn will heal itself within 7 to 10 days.
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