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Research Article

Role of mucosal injury in initiating recurrent aphthous stomatitis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 12 December 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:1569
  1. D Wray,
  2. E A Graykowski,
  3. A L Notkins


    The buccal mucosa of 30 patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis and 15 healthy controls was injured by suture and penetration with a tenaculum and a hypodermic needle and each of the six puncture wounds produced monitored for up to seven days for the development of ulcers. Altogether 26 lesions were induced in 13 patients, whereas none occurred in the controls (p less than 0.001). Sutures caused most of the lesions (15), and those so induced had a mean maximum diameter of 2.3 mm and lasted for an average of four days. Ulcers induced mechanically were clinically indistinguishable from those usually seen in the patients, except that they were generally smaller and healed more quickly. These findings confirm that mechanically induced injury of the oral mucosa may cause ulceration in people susceptible to aphthous stomatitis. Such a procedure may therefore be helpful in identifying subsets of patients.