What causes aphthous stomatitis (canker sore)?

Updated: Sep 25, 2020
  • Author: Ginat W Mirowski, MD, DMD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Although the clinical characteristics of recurrent aphthous ulcer are well defined, the precise etiology and the pathogenesis of recurrent aphthous ulcer remain unclear. Many possibilities have been investigated. Recurrent aphthous ulcer is a multifactorial condition, and it is likely that immune-mediated destruction of the epithelium is the common factor in recurrent aphthous ulcer pathogenesis. Host risk factors associated with recurrent aphthous ulcer are described below.

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