Oral ulcers

Last updated: Friday, 24, December, 2010
CausesAppropriate Tests

Clinical presentation and appearance of the ulcer(s) often suggest the diagnosis.

Pathology tests (including FBC) are usually only indicated for severe, indolent or recurrent ulcers.

Aphthous ulcers

Traumatic ulcers

Infection, especially

  • Herpangina 

Enterovirus (coxsackievirus) antibodies are not useful.

  • Vincent's stomatitis 

See Vincent's infection


Any solitary ulcer persisting for more than 3 weeks should be biopsied.

  • Carcinoma


Systemic disorders, especially

  • Behçet's syndrome
  • Pemphigus

Lesion biopsy with IF. Pemphigus antibodies and pemphigoid antibodies.

  • Pemphigoid