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Managing & Understanding Oral Ulcers

Oral ulcers are a common clinical problem affecting both adults and children.  Generally, an ulcer is a round or oval yellow defect of the skin, which has exposed the deeper layers to the external environment.

These ulcers can appear as individual or multiple lesions, forming clusters. Unfortunately, the most lesions are painful, itchy and burn and can include swelling of lymph nodes, fever, difficulty swallowing, and general irritability.

The two most common causes of single ulcers includes trauma to the skin and aphthous ulcers, commonly referred to as “canker sores”.  Very rarely do they occur due to fungal infections or occur as a sign of cancer.

The development of multiple ulcers, however, may be due to several different causes.

  1. Bacterial Infections – This includes bacterial infections around the mouth, such as impetigo, or within the mouth, such as severe forms of gingivitis due to poor oral hygiene.
  2. Viral Infections – This includes Herpes, herpangina, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, chicken-pox / varicella zoster, and measles.
  3. Patients may have been born with conditions that lead to repeated and chronic ulcerations, such as epidermolysis bullosa, pemphigus and pemphygoid.
  4. Patients who suffer from other diseases or conditions that predispose them to ulcers, such as Behcet’s syndrome, Lupus and Crohn’s.


Treatment often involves improving comfort with analgesics, reducing fever with antipyretics (i.e. Acetaminophen / Tylenol), oral antibiotic mouthwash to reduce the risk of secondary infection of the ulcers (i.e. Peridex), maintaining proper nutrition and hydration, and if indicated prescribing the appropriate medication (i.e. antibiotics, antivirals, corticosteroids, etc.).  A referral to the patient’s Physician or medical subspecialists may be indicated for further evaluation and management if a systemic condition is suspected.



Our office offers appointments throughout the week including evenings, Saturdays and Sundays (by appointment as days and times vary). We always welcome ne patients, emergencies and offer free consultations. And we rely on your referrals for our growth.


Our dentists provide a full range of treatment all under one roof to minimize the need for outside referrals. Some of the treatment we provide includes the full service and placement of dental implants, root canal therapy, wisdom tooth surgery, sedation, invisalign orthodontics, and cosmetic treatments. Most importantly, our preventive dental care program aims to reduce the risk of you and your family requiring more invasive and costly treatment.


Our office is located in the heart of Thornhill in Vaughan. Call today to schedule your appointment.



About the Author
Dr. Mark Buzaglo is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario where he completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree, receiving the Pierre Fauchard Academy Award for outstanding academic achievement. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours. Dr. Buzaglo is an avid believer in ongoing continuing education and has completed many certified courses in all aspects of dentistry with particular focus in the fields of Cosmetic, Invisalign Orthodontics, and Implant Dentistry. He is a contributing writer and editor for the oral health programs at and, Canada’s foremost on-line continuing medical education websites for Medical Doctors in Canada. Dr. Buzaglo has a creative passion that is evident throughout your experience in his office, Westmount Dental. He has personally designed the layout and features of the office to provide an esthetic appeal to the flow of the working space. His creative ability is truly reflected in the dental treatment he provides to his patients.

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