Crohn’s mouth ulcers: Symptoms, causes, and treatments

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Crohn’s mouth ulcers: Symptoms, causes, and treatments

People with Crohn’s disease may be more prone to mouth ulcers. Learn about the reasons why in this article.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that mainly causes symptoms in the digestive tract. However, some people experience symptoms elsewhere, including mouth ulcers.

Doctors call mouth ulcers and other symptoms outside of the digestive tract extra-intestinal manifestations of Crohn’s disease.

Some people develop mouth ulcers several years before they experience any intestinal symptoms due to Crohn’s disease.

Researchers estimate that 20 to 50 percent of people with Crohn’s disease experience mouth ulcers at some point.

In this article, learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments available for Crohn’s mouth ulcers.

Symptoms

Crohn’s disease commonly causes mouth ulcers known as canker sores. These develop around the base of the gums.

They differ from other mouth lesions, such as herpes, which appear on the outside of the mouth on the lips.

The ulcers may have the following characteristics:

  • round or oval shape
  • small size
  • yellow or gray color
  • a red “halo” or border
  • painful
  • appearing in groups

Many people with Crohn’s disease will notice their mouth ulcers get worse during a flare-up. They may even observe mouth ulcers before other flare-up symptoms begin.

In rare cases, Crohn’s disease may also cause pustules, or fluid-filled ulcers, called pyostomatitis vegetans to develop in the mouth.

Read on: Crohn's mouth ulcers: Symptoms, causes, and treatments

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