Oral ulcers and mouth sores are a common symptom of lupus, affecting around 50% of Lupus Warriors. These ulcers may be an indication of changes in disease activity.
An oral ulcer or canker sore is a shallow injury in the cheeks, tongue, or other soft parts of the mouth. It is often surrounded by a “halo” of swollen skin. These ulcers, canker sores, and other injuries in the mouth are common, but they occur more frequently in people with autoimmune diseases like lupus.
Though not usually harmful, oral ulcers are still wounds. They can get infected and provide an entry point for bacteria. Even outside of this, they are painful and can make eating and drinking difficult and unpleasant. These symptoms are more common for children with juvenile-onset lupus (jSLE). Oral ulcers can be an obstacle to getting the right nutrition and staying hydrated.