Aphthae During Pregnancy - Is It Dangerous?


Aphthae are small wounds in the mucous membrane that are mostly found on the gums or the oral mucosa, but also in the genital area.

In technical jargon, these wounds are also called inflammatory erosions or Ulcers designated. They are yellowish and surrounded by a rather reddish border. The yellowish coating is made up of fibrin, a protein that occurs on wounds.

Canker sores individually occur or grouped occur. They are not an independent disease, but rather a possible appearance that can occur in the context of various diseases. Aphthae can also occur during pregnancy.

How dangerous are canker sores during pregnancy?

First of all, canker sores are not a cause for concern, even during pregnancy. They can arise due to many different causes. Many of these causes, such as stress or food intolerance, are harmless in nature.

The canker sore itself is very uncomfortable for the pregnant woman as it causes burning pain, especially when eating and drinking, but there is no danger for the child or the pregnancy.

Harmless infections can also hide behind canker sores. Mostly these are simple colds caused by various viruses. Such infections are also not a problem for pregnancy. They neither have a negative impact on the child's growth, nor do they endanger the health of the pregnant woman.

More rarely, other diseases are hidden behind canker sores during pregnancy. Especially with canker sores that keep recurring, an underlying underlying disease such as a herpes infection should be considered. In this case one speaks of one Aphthous stomatitis. This is characterized by very painful canker sores in the mouth area, cold sores on the lips, swollen lymph nodes and high fever. However, aphthous stomatitis of this kind occurs in adulthood almost only in people with a weakened immune system, for example due to cancer or an HIV infection. Therefore, in this case, the pregnant woman should be examined more closely. Such a herpes infection is also not a danger to the unborn child, unlike a genital herpes from the mother.

Autoimmune diseases are very rarely hidden behind recurring canker sores. One example is the inflammatory bowel disease Crohn's disease. These diseases also do not have a direct damaging influence on pregnancy. The development of the child is not disturbed, so that malformations would arise.

However, the integrity of the pregnancy also depends on the general condition of the pregnant woman concerned and the severity of the underlying disease. The canker sores as such do not pose any danger.

Also read more in our main article: Aphthae - painful blisters in the mouth and throat

What can I do about canker sores on the tongue?

The tongue is very sensitive, which is why canker sores on the tongue are perceived as particularly unpleasant. During pregnancy in particular, the sensation of pain and general sensitivity are often particularly irritable. So what can you do about canker sores on the tongue? There are various preparations available in pharmacies to alleviate the symptoms. However, not every agent should be used during pregnancy. For example, non-alcoholic products such as the BloXaphte® product range are harmless (see section “Which agents may be used?”). Furthermore, you should avoid particularly spicy or acidic foods if you have canker sores on the tongue. Even very hard foods, such as rusks or dry bread, can irritate the canker sores and lead to more pain.

Read also: Canker sores on the tongue

What can I do about canker sores in the throat?

Hard-to-reach canker sores are usually even more painful for those affected than canker sores in the mouth area. They cause discomfort when eating and drinking, but often cannot be easily reached with local treatments.In this case, preparations with special applicators or application aids, for example in the form of a specially shaped spray neck, are recommended. Such preparations also exist in a form tolerated by pregnant women. This is a good example GUM® Afta Clear Spray. However, to be sure that a product is also suitable for pregnancy, a doctor or pharmacist should always be consulted.

Learn more at: Aphthae in the throat - how to get rid of the blisters

Are canker sores contagious?

How contagious are canker sores?

Aphthae do not always have an infectious cause. Sometimes they arise after eating certain foods, as a kind of intolerance reaction, or through increased stress. In these cases, canker sores are not contagious.

However, canker sores are very often an appearance that occurs as part of an infection - usually of the respiratory tract. Pathogens are often found in the canker sores themselves. Contact with saliva or coughing and sneezing can in this case transmit pathogens. However, in most cases they are simple colds. Canker sores can also be an expression of a herpes infection. Even then, pathogens can be transmitted through contact with the canker sores.

Also read: Herpes in the mouth

How long do they last?

The duration of canker sores during pregnancy varies and depends on various factors. Small canker sores usually disappear after 3 to 5 days. Larger canker sores can take up to 2 weeks to go away.

How long the canker sores are actually there also depends on how the canker sores are cared for and the underlying cause. Canker sores caused by a herpes infection can be a bit more persistent than other canker sores. Soothing wound gels for the oral mucosa and disinfecting mouth rinses help to get rid of canker sores as quickly as possible.

Which resources can be used?

Not all medicines should be taken during pregnancy as they can potentially harm the child. This also applies to over-the-counter products from the pharmacy. Therefore, pregnancy should always be mentioned to the advising pharmacist so that good advice can be given. This also applies to products that can be used against canker sores.

Products that contain alcohol are not suitable for use during pregnancy. However, there are a number of products that can be used. This includes, for example, non-alcoholic products containing hyaluronic acid. A good example of this is the BloXaphte® range of products. Even alcohol-free mouthwashes, such as dentaid® xeros Moisturizing mouth rinses are good for treating canker sores during pregnancy.

Learn more about: Canker sores - different options of treatment

Home remedies for canker sores

Various home remedies are available for treating canker sores during pregnancy. A commonly recommended home remedy is a mouthwash with chamomile tea or green tea. The tea should be cooled down for the rinse. The anti-inflammatory and soothing effects of the rinse relieve pain and help wound healing.

However, one should refrain from using tea tinctures. These are mostly made with high percentage alcohol and are therefore not suitable for use during pregnancy.

Another well-known home remedy for canker sores that can also be used during pregnancy is tea tree oil. However, it should only be used in diluted form for rinsing the oral mucosa. The oil should still not be swallowed.

Other essential oils should not be used during pregnancy.

A simple way to alleviate the discomfort caused by canker sores is cooling. Cold rinses with water or a cold ice cube that is sucked like candy can help relieve pain and soothe inflammation.

More information can be found here: Aphthae - which home remedies can help?

Further information

  • Treat canker sores properly with the help of homeopathy
  • Aphthae - what causes the painful sores?
  • Homeopathy for canker sores
  • Dental care in the baby
  • Stress in Pregnancy