Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) (also referred as aphthae or canker sores) is a common
disorder affecting up to 60-70% of the general population at any time. Usually, RAS is a
well-defined clinical condition (recurrent painful ulcers confined to the mouth, in the absence
of systemic disease, with spontaneous resolution in few days) and as a rule it is easily recognized
(and accepted as paraphysiological) by the patient. Nevertheless, other
aphthous lesions may resemble but are different from RAS. Additional clinical signs (i.e. fever)
should be valued since they lead to exclude RAS by definition and impose to suspect
some other disorders. This article proposes a review of the etiopathogenesis, differential diagnosis and management of RAS in primary care.
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