Virtually all patients with Behcet's disease (BD) suffer from recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS)1-3. RAS can be classified as simple versus complex aphthosis14-7. RAS has many synonyms; canker sores, aphthosis, aphthous ulcers, or recurrent oral ulcers. The word "aphthae" means ulcers. The author prefers the term recurrent aphthous stomatitis167. The lesions of RAS are discrete, round to oval erosions or shallow ulcers of the non-masticatory oral mucosa. They typically have a perilesional erythematous halo and are covered by a grayish fibromembranous slough. Sites of predilection include the buccal and labial mucosae, the lateral and ventral tongue, the floor of the mouth, and the soft palate and fauces. Lesions of the masticatory mucosa of the hard palate and maxillary and mandibular attached gingivae and dorsal tongue are unusual.
Patients usually develop RAS during childhood or adolescence. Recurrences are less frequent and milder with increasing age. The prevalence of RAS varies with the population studied. Some populations such as medical and dental students have a prevalence rate of 50%. It is estimated that 20% of the general population will have RAS during their childhood or early adult life.
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