What autoimmune disease causes mouth ulcers?
Auto immune diseases are characterized by the body’s normal immune system attacking and killing perfectly healthy parts of the body. The exact mechanism of the reaction will vary in the individual along with the severity of the reaction. According to the latest statistics, more than 0.15%-4.5% of the US population suffers from persistent mouth ulcers. If you are one of these people who suffer from constant mouth ulcers, you should get yourself checked over completely to rule out infections and auto immune conditions.
What to do if you suspect an auto immune disease is causing the mouth ulcers?
Patients who suffer from an auto immune condition will suffer from a range of signs and symptoms. This is further complicated by the fact that auto immune diseases may also occur in mild, moderate and severe forms in different patients according to individual metabolisms and genetic makeup. At present, there are more than 80 different types of auto immune disorders which have been recognized. We suggest you get a complete medical check-up done to rule out common diseases and then shift over to more serious tests. You can start with the auto-antibody tests which detect the presence of antibodies that are made by the immune system to destroy healthy oral tissue. Other tests that you can also do include the inflammation and organ function tests which will evaluate your organs for inflammation and internal tissue breakdown which resemble oral ulcers but inside the organ, biopsies, immunoflorescence tests etc.
Which are the common auto immune diseases which can cause oral ulcers?
- Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD)/Undifferentiated may have signs and symptoms that may range from facial rashes, baldness, hair loss all over the body, photosensitivity, dry mouth, oral ulcers, sore gums, parotid salivary gland swellings, cold hands and feet and finger swellings.
- Steven-Johnson Syndrome is characterized by high blood pressure, annular lesions, rashes, vesicles and blebs on the skin and the entire body, bulbous vesicles on the cheek mucosa of the mouth, cracked lips and red, erythematous gums.
- Behcet’s Disease is one of the most common causes for oral ulcers. The condition manifests as acute chest pain or pain all over the body, acne on the arms and legs, cutaneous ulcers and oral ulcers. However, a range of signs and symptoms may be seen all over the body including stiff necks, sudden unconciousness, and painful intercourse.
- Pemphigus is also very common in patients and it exhibits as acute or chronic mouth sores, skin or eye lesions and even an associated cancer.
- Mucus membrane and pemphigoid is also characterized by acute or chronic mouth sores that come with conjunctivitis and skin lesions.
- Linear IgA bullous Dermatosis is an acute or chronic condition that is characterized by conjunctivitis, concurrent skin lesions and oral ulcers.
- Epidermolysis Bullosa Acquisita is another disease characterized by acute or chronic mouth sores, ocular conjunctivitis, and concurrent skin lesions. Ulcerations on the gingiva, buccal mucosa, tongue, palate are common followed by scarring or restricted oral opening and ankyloglossia.
- Oral lichenoid reactions are also common in patients who smoke or consume alcohol on a regular basis. The condition is characterized by acute or chronic mouth ulcers that exhibit as single or multiple lesions on the gingiva and oral mucosa.
- Reactive Arthritis or Reiters Syndrome also shows oral ulcers along with joint aches and pains. Eye problems in the form of conjunctival erosions, urethritis, and axial arthritis are common.
- Lupus erthematosus is connective tissue disorder characterized by oral lesions that will frequently ulcerate. The ulcers are surrounded by a sun-like radiating strata of fine white lines. The disease is also accompanied by fatigue, fever, weightloss and body pain.
How to ensure that you get an accurate auto immune disorder diagnosis?
Diagnosing an auto immune condition which causes oral ulcers is not easy. However, you can assist your doctor in making a diagnosis by writing down information about the date and time of breakouts, the intensity of the breakout and what you used to soothe the condition. Make sure that you have a food diary and a medication record ready for the doctor too. Almost every auto immune condition has a familial history as well. As a result, inquire with parents and relatives about similar symptoms and acquire details or medical records if possible. If nothing provides relief, make sure that you ask your doctor for auto immune tests which will be able to detect the presence of the condition.