Purpose: Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is one of the most common oral mucosal diseases in many parts of the world. However, there is very limited published clinical evidence for the therapies used in this condition. This could be partly due to the difficulty in assessing the efficacy of treatment. In this paper, a method for assessing and monitoring the severity of ulcers after treatment in RAS is presented.
Materials and Methods: Six ulcer characteristics; number, size, duration, ulcer-free period, site and pain were used to generate an ulcer severity score. The score for 223 RAS patients, 79 of whom were scored again after three months therapy with topical betamethasone, were analysed.
Results: The scores for the minor RAS group were between 18-43 (mean 29.2 ±5.3). The mean score in the major RAS group (range: 28-60, mean 39.9 ±6.1) was significantly greater than in the minor group (p<0.001). The herpetiform RAS score range was wide (range: 18-57, mean 36.6 ±8.4). The mean severity score decreased significantly after treatment (p<0.001).
Conclusions: The ulcer severity score has been shown to be an aid in the management of patients with RAS. The severity of the disease is converted to numerical values therefore helping in assessing the efficacy of treatment. This method may well prove to be of value in research and in clinical trials.
Keywords: stomatitis, aphthous, oral ulcers, disease management