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Anamnestic findings from patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis

Journal article
Authors John Bratel
Magnus Hakeberg
Published in Swedish Dental Journal
Volume 38
Issue 3
Pages 143-149
ISSN 0347-9994
Publisher Swedish Dental Association
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 143-149
Language en
Keywords RAS, Symptoms, Treatment
Subject categories Dentistry


Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is a common oral disorder with a prevalence varying between 5% and 66%. RAS appears in three forms; minor, major and herpetiform. The aetiology is unknown.The aim of this study was to evaluate associations between specific anamnestic information and different types of recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS). A group of 177 patients (mean age=42.8 years; SD=14.3; range 17-79 years) participated. Data were collected from a structured interview, consisting of 22 questions. Information about i) health status and medication, ii) predisposing factors, iii) RAS experience, iv) previous treatment methods and v) brand of toothpaste was collected. Sixty-eight per cent of the patients were healthy and 44% of the patients were not taking any medication. Forty-one per cent of the patients did not have any apprehension of the reason for their RAS, while stress (15.8%) was the most common apprehended aetiological factor. Sixty-two per cent had one to three minor ulcers at one time. Forty-eight per cent reported having had a major aphthous ulcer at least once.The most frequent symptom reported was pain (53.7%), followed by a smarting sensation (18.6%) and tenderness (4%). The most common treatment for RAS was Zendium™ toothpaste/mouthrinse (28%), followed by corticosteroids (25%). Fifty-four per cent of the patients experienced no relief from the treatment. When toothpaste habits were investigated, Zendium™ was used by 32% of the patients and toothpaste containing sodium-lauryl-sulfatase was used by 32%. There was no positive correlation between the use of Zendium™ toothpaste and the relief of symptoms or the size, number or frequency of the aphthous ulcers. Sixty-four per cent of the patients had never smoked, while 7% were smokers. No positive correlation was found when age, gender, allergy, medication and smoking were correlated to the frequency, number and size of the aphthous ulcers. In conclusion, we found that the aetiology behind RAS is still unclear and probably multifactorial. Standard treatment methods like Zendium™ should perhaps be questioned and this study did not find any support for smoking as a "protective" factor, i.e. having less likelihood of experiencing major problems from RAS.

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