Publication: Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis
Background and Design: The purpose of this study was to obtain data that may provide an insight into the etiopathogenesis of recurrent aphtous stomatitis (RAS) by the way of analysing the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients who had been diagnosed with RAS. Materials and Metods: The patients, who were diagnosed with RAS in the dermatology outpatient clinic, between May 2007 and May 2010, were evaluated retrospectively. The data including sociodemografic and clinical characteristics, and treatment options were recorded. Results: A hundred patients (68 women, 32 men) were included in this study. The average age was 40 +/- 13.6 years. RAS was more common in patients with middle-income and low education. The most common type of RAS was minor aphtous ulcers (88%). The lesions were most frequently seen on the lateral side of the tongue (34%) and cheek (34%). Sixty percent of patients had a positive family history. Some factors such as biting (12%), tooth brushing (18%), dental disease presence (82%), food (39%), menstruation (10.3%), stress (76%), iron deficiency (16.7%), vitamin B12 deficiency (22.4%), low serum ferritin levels (18%), and seasonal variability (32%) showed positive correlation with RAS. A negative correlation was found between RAS and smoking. Forty-nine percent of patients had used alternative therapies in addition to drug therapy. The most frequently used alternative method was consumption of sumac (26.5%). Conlucions: In contrast to the literature, our study found that RAS is started in the third decade of life and, approximately 50% of patients prefered alternative treatment methods, particularly sumac. Nowadays, discussions about the etiopathogenesis of RAS continue. In this study, we found that different sociodemographic and clinical factors may be associated with the etiopathogenesis of the disease. Our study will be followed by further studies using prospective design to identify the the etiopathogenesis of RAS.