Oral Ulcers – General Classification



In this Article, We will start with a basic Comparison between common types of  Oral Ulcers. The comparison will be  in the Etiology  , on the preceding lesion before the ulcers occurs and Recurrence.ulcer


But first, we must understand what is an Ulcer.


Ulcers: Is the complete loss of epithelium. Always Heals with a scar
Erosion: is a superficial damage leading to partial loss of epithelium. No Scar Formation
In The Comparison and previous image, the difference between an ulcer and erosion is quite easy to understand.


By Etiology

Etiology Examples
Physical or Chemical  Acid Burn, Heat Burn, Traumatic , Biting
Microbial Bacterial Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, TB, Syphilis
Fungal Histoplasmosis Blastomycosis
Viral Herpes Simplex, Herpes Zoster, Herpangina, Hand, foot and mouth disease
Neoplasm Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Immunological reactions Aphthous ulcers, Behcet’s syndrome, Pemphigus Vulgaris, Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid, Lupus Erythematosus, Lichen Planus, Epidermolysis Bullosa, Drug Eruption
Blood disorders Anemia, Leukemia, Neutropenia
Gastrointestinal Disease Coeliac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Diseases
Drugs Cytotoxic Drugs
Easy Download Image of Ulcer Etiology

Easy Download Image of Ulcer Etiology

By Precursor Lesion

Primary Ulcers 
Secondary Ulcers
  • Definition: an Ulcer that is preceded by a vesiculobullous lesion.
  • Types: These vesicles may be sub-epithelial or intraepithelial (Acantholytic or Non- acantholytic)

Sub Epithelial

  • Bullous Pemphigoid
  • Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid
  • Erythema Multiforme
  • Bullous Lichen Planus
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa
  • Drug Eruption


  • Non – Acantholytic: Death and rupture of groups of epithelial cells.
    • Examples:
      • Herpes Simplex
      • Herpes Zoster
      • Herpangina
      • Hand, foot and mouth disease
  • Acantholytic: Destruction of intercellular attachments.
    • Eamples:
      • Pemphigus Vulgaris
      • Darier’s Disease
Easy Download Image of Ulcer Precursor

Easy Download Image of Ulcer Precursor

By Recurrence  

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About Author

MohsenSaeedOzaibi, A Dentist, Dental Manager at Emirates Jordanind Medical Center, Founder of OziDent.com. Graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor's Degree in Dental Science from Misr International University. A veteran in digital dental content publishing and marketing.

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