What is the approach to diagnosis of 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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It is important to rule out any underlying cause in the case of oral ulcers. A thorough history is essential, since this and a review of systems can assist the clinician in determining whether ulcers are related to a systemic inflammatory process or are truly idiopathic. Diseases causing oral ulcers that should not be mistaken for recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) include Behçet syndrome, cyclic neutropenia, recurring intraoral herpes infections, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–related oral ulcers, and gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis. Minor aphthous ulcers (MiAUs) most commonly form on nonkeratinized oral mucosa, usually on the buccal and labial mucosa; they have a duration of about 10-14 days without scar formation. [1]

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