The aim of this review is to provide the gastroenterologist with a differential diagnosis of oral ulceration, and a practical guide for the management of recurrent aphthous stomatitis, including topical and systemic therapy.
The association of recurrent aphthous stomatitis with Behc¸et’s disease and other systemic disorders, including coeliac disease, is discussed.
Recent evidence concerning the immunopathogenesis of Behc¸et’s disease is reviewed, including renewed interest in the role of Streptococcus sanguis and possible infectious triggering of an inappropriate immunoinflammatory response, resulting in tissue damage.
The efficacy and limitations of conventional treatment for this mutisystem disorder are outlined together with the potential role of novel biological agents, such as anti-tumour necrosis factor-a therapy.
Oral ulceration, as a manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease and a complication of drug therapy, is described. Guidance is given concerning indications for referral of patients with oral ulceration to an oral physician/surgeon for further investigations, including biopsy if appropriate.
°Review article: oral ulceration – aetiopathogenesis, clinical diagnosis and management in the gastrointestinal clinic
°E. A. FIELD & R. B. ALLAN