Coleman and Nelson listed features to consider when evaluating an oral ulcer.


Questions to ask:

(1) Was the onset gradual or acute?

(2) How many weeks has the oral lesion been present? (acute if < 2 weeks, limited if 2 to 4 weeks, protracted if > 4 weeks)

(3) Was the ulcer preceded by a vesicle, white lesion or red lesion?

(4) Has the ulcer been recurrent?

(5) Is the ulceration progressive?

(6) What medications is the person taking?

(7) Does the patient have concurrent lesions in the eye, skin and/or genitals?

(8) Are there systemic findings?


Some additional things to ask:

(1) What is the person’s travel history? Where has the person lived if not native born?

(2) What is the person’s occupation?

(3) What is the patient’s smoking history?

(4) Does the person use alcohol or drugs of abuse?


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