Diagnosis of aphthae in the throat
Because the causes of aphthae are not yet established, diagnosis is difficult. The decisive criterion for the diagnosis of aphthae is the inspection of the oral mucosa. However, this clinical finding is always related to the personal medical history as well as the course of education.
In the general medical history, the medications taken and the general illnesses are particularly important, because systemic diseases such as Behcet’s disease, for example, can cause aphthae in relapses, which are completely different from local aphthae. Therefore, the overall picture of the individual and the specific clinical picture of the occurring aphthae must always be considered. If other diseases of the oral mucosa can be excluded, the diagnosis is usually aphthae.
Risk of infection with aphthae in the throat
That aphthae are contagious and can be transmitted is wrong and not possible. There are opinions that assume that bacteria can be the cause, but recent research deviates from this approach. A direct virus, as it exists in influenza and can be transmitted, does not exist for the occurrence of aphthae.
In addition to genetic predisposition, a vitamin deficiency, damage to the gums, weakened immune system etc. are named as causes, which also cannot be transmitted. Aphthae arise from within and are not the result of an infection. However, what one should bear in mind is that possible causes that can be responsible for aphthae can be transmitted. For example, a virus can be transmitted which weakens the immune system, so that an aphthae can develop as a side effect.
Treatment of aphthae in the throat
A specific therapy for aphthae has not yet been found, as the cause is still unknown. Dentists, homeopathic medicines and the like can only try to shorten the duration, but there is no patent remedy that brings proven success. Therefore there is no classical treatment, but many different approaches that try to alleviate the symptoms of aphthae and promote healing.
Usually the aphthae heal within two weeks by themselves. However, it is possible to support and accelerate the healing process and to help to reduce the frequency of the aphthae. The pharmacy is a good place to buy different medicines, either over the counter or on prescription.
The different substances can be sold as a spray, ointment, liquid or gel, so that everyone can find their favourite. Most of them contain lidocaine, a local anaesthetic, which anaesthetizes the inflamed area for a short time. Another option for aphtha treatment is to rinse with chlorhexidine digluconate in the morning and evening to minimize the bacterial environment inside the oral cavity.
Dentists apply ointments containing cortisone directly to the aphthae in the throat to suppress the body’s immune response. In addition, there are also approaches with ether preparations. Aloe vera has recently become very popular as a versatile household remedy and can be applied to the aphthae particularly well in gel form.
Other well-known remedies are rhubarb roots, silver nitrate solutions or a myrrh tincture. Especially the product Pyralvex, a mixture of rhubarb root and salicylic acid, is sold in pharmacies against aphten. It is best to apply it to the affected area with the enclosed brush, preferably before going to bed, but you should make sure that the product does not get on your clothes, as it can hardly be removed again.
Immediately after application, if possible, nothing should be drunk or eaten, otherwise it will be rinsed out of the mouth and cannot spread its effect. Direct application can be very painful, but after a few days the aphtae disappears. In consultation with the doctor, a solution of hydrogen peroxide can be used.
This has the effect of disinfecting the entire oral cavity and killing any germs present. However, this is not suitable for long-term use, as it has a very irritating effect on the oral mucosa. Some doctors assume a bacterial cause, so they advise the use of minocycline or tetracycline.
These antibiotic preparations are prescribed by the doctor in tablet form and are usually dissolved in water, which is then used to rinse the mouth and spit out the liquid. To relieve the pain and inflammation, there is an ointment containing triamcinolone (glucocorticoid) which can be applied to the affected area several times a day. It creates a kind of protective cover over the aphtae, which protects it against contact with the environment and thus relieves pain.
As a further healing measure, which accelerates the healing process, but also prevents the occurrence of aphthae in the long term, a good supply of vitamin B or vitamin C, as well as zinc is necessary. In addition, there are a number of home remedies that can be considered as treatment methods and are usually completely sufficient. Camomile or sage can be used well for this purpose.
So that a strong tea boils up and rinses the mouth several times a day. It has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect and sage is said to have an antibacterial effect. Alternatively, it is also possible to dip a cotton swab into the tea and dab the affected area with it.
Bee honey, mixed with a little turmeric, can also be applied to the aphthae and can relieve pain and promote healing. It is especially popular with children, as honey has a sweetish taste. Aphthae in the throat are not as easy to reach as for example an aphthae on the tongue because of their location, so that often the application of remedies that are to be applied directly turns out to be difficult.
If direct application is not possible, it is advisable to resort to irrigations, as they can be gargled with and thus safely reach the place in the throat. The doctor can also give you good advice on this. There are many methods and measures available, but unfortunately none of them has been successful in accelerating the regression of the aphthae. Therefore all therapy approaches are valid without guarantee and evidence.