Introduction. Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS) is a common oral mucosal disorder which is characterized by recurrent ulcerations mainly confined to non-keratinized oral mucosa. Though the exact etiology is imprecise, stress and anxiety were found to be linked with the onset of RAS. The present study was directed to know the prevalence of RAS among female dental students in King Khalid University, to find out the association between RAS and psychological stress and the effectiveness of Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) in finding out the psychological profile of RAS patients.

Method. 122 female dental students of age group 17 to 25 years were selected for the study. Subjects with relevant medical problems and deleterious habits were excluded. A questionnaire comprising general stress related questions and HAD scale were used to assess stress. Those who were giving history of ulcer were diagnosed as RAS based on the clinical features. The questionnaire results were used for statistical analysis and processed.

Result. 14% of the total students were having RAS. 70% could correlate the onset of ulcer with certain specific factors; stress being the major causative agent (91%). In HAD scale, 88% of students were having anxiety and 65% had depression; all patients with depression had anxiety.

Conclusion. The prevalence of RAS in female dental students in KKU was around 14%. There is a strong relationship between psychological stress and RAS, as in most of the other studies. HAD scale alone can be used for detecting the psychological factor in RAS.



recurrent aphthous stomatitis, RAS, aphthous stomatitis, mouth ulcer, stress related oral ulcer