Glossary : Mouth Ulcer Guide

An explanation of dental/medical terms used in this guide.


Aphthous stomatitis

Another name for a mouth ulcer: this tends to apply to persistent mouth ulcers.

Aphthous ulcer

Also known as a canker sore or a mouth ulcer.


Beta blockers

These types of drugs are used to treat high blood pressure, anxiety and angina. They work by ‘blocking’ or obstructing over-stimulation of receptors in the body by the release of adrenaline.


Canker sores

Also known as mouth ulcers or aphthous ulcers.

Coeliac Disease

An inflammation of the bowel caused by gluten intolerance. Gluten is a protein contained in wheat, barley and rye. This disease of the immune system causes the immune system to attack gluten inside the digestive system. This damages the lining of the intestines, resulting in stomach pain, diarrhoea and weight loss.

This disease can be inherited.

Cold sores

These form as a result of the herpes virus and are highly contagious. These small, fluid filled blisters develop on the outside of the lips. Not to be confused with canker sores.

Crohn’s Disease

Chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. It usually affects the last section of the small intestine or the colon (large intestine). This inflammation damages the intestine over a long period of time.


None at present.


None at present.


None at present.


Gluten intolerance

Very similar to Coeliac Disease: However Coeliac Disease tends to affect people with a genetic tendency towards this disorder whereas anyone can develop a gluten intolerance.



A virus which attacks the immune system that eventually stops it from working. This leaves the sufferer open to diseases such as cancer. There are many different sub-types of this virus.


None at present.


None at present.


None at present.



A disease of the mouth in which white patches appear inside the mouth and on the tongue.


Mouth ulcer

Also known as aphthous ulcers or canker sores: round or oval shaped sores which develop inside the mouth, on the tongue or the soft palate. These ulcers cause pain when eating, drinking or speaking.

They disappear on their own accord after a week to ten days.



A medicine prescribed for the treatment of angina.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

The name given to a group of drugs which are used to treat a variety of conditions. These include rheumatoid arthritis, muscle strains and menorrhagia (heavy periods).


Oral cancer

A type of cancer which develops inside the mouth, the lips, the surface of the tongue or the gums.


None at present.


None at present.


Reiter’s Syndrome

A form of arthritis also known as ‘Reactive Arthritis’. This inflammation affects the eyes, urethra and the joints.

Reye’s Syndrome A very rare condition which causes brain and liver damage in children. It can be caused by a virus or aspirin use.



The name given for an infection/inflammation of the inside of the mouth. See aphthous stomatitis.


Tongue ulcer

A type of mouth ulcer which develops on the tongue. Mouth ulcers can also develop inside the cheek, the lips or the roof of the mouth.


Ulcerative Colitis

A chronic disease of the large intestine (colon). The large intestine becomes swollen and inflamed and in severe cases, ulcers may develop inside the colon. Symptoms of this include passing of blood and mucus, stomach pain and weight loss.


Vincent’s Disease

A type of gum disease (gingivitis) which causes the formation of ulcers.


None at present.


None at present.


None at present.


None at present.

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