What are recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS)?

Updated: May 11, 2020
  • Author: Jaisri R Thoppay, DDS, MBA, MS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is a common ulcerative inflammatory condition of the oral cavity; it typically starts in childhood or adolescence as small recurrent, painful, round or ovoid ulcers with well-defined erythematous margins, like a halo, and a central yellow or gray floor. 

See the images below.

Recurrent aphthous ulcer with well-defined erythem Recurrent aphthous ulcer with well-defined erythematous halo and central yellowish gray base, on left anterolateral tongue.
Traumatic ulcer on ventrum/lateral margin of tongu Traumatic ulcer on ventrum/lateral margin of tongue; these must be differentiated from aphthae.

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