THE TRUTH ABOUT SOME COMMON DENTAL MYTHS

The profession of dentistry has experienced an amazing evolution over its lifetime. References to tooth decay can be found in various ancient texts. At one time, a local barber would provide haircuts and pull troublesome teeth in the same shop. Dentistry evolved from these humble beginnings to what we know today: a structured medical discipline where patients benefit from evidenced-based care. Oddly enough, though, several oral health myths and misconceptions have failed to fade away....

….FULL ARTICLE

SIMPLE STEPS TO MAINTAIN YOUR ORAL HEALTH

On the list of common reasons people avoid the dentist, cost is usually near the top. It is a fact — some dental treatments are expensive. However, you have some control in working to avoid pricey dental procedures. Two of the best ways to avoid needing expensive dental treatments are to visit a dentist regularly for an exam and cleaning and following proper dental hygiene advice every day.

….FULL ARTICLE

COMMON SLEEP DISORDER WREAKS HAVOC ON THE BODY

The National Sleep Foundation estimates over 18 million adults in the United States, or about one in every 15 people, suffer from sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that interrupts breathing, resulting in disruptive sleep. Individuals suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will experience a repetitive (partial or complete) airway collapse throughout their sleep, which prevents air from reaching the lungs.

….FULL ARTICLE

Use the buttons below to scroll through more great articles from our General Dentistry Column

MORE ARTICLES

Be Sociable, Share!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Bookmarks Share on LinkedIn Share on LiveJournal Share on Newsvine Share on Reddit Share on Stumble Upon Share on Tumblr

MORE GENERAL DENTISTRY ARTICLES

CONTACT INFORMATION

© Health & Wellness Magazine - All rights reserved | Designed and Maintained by PurplePatch Innovations

MORE FROM ROCKPOINT PUBLISHING

HEALTH & WELLNESS MAGAZINE

HOME | FEATURE ARTICLES | COLUMNS | DIGITAL ISSUES | CALENDAR | RACE RUNNING CALENDAR | ABOUT | CONTACT

subscribe to Health & Wellness

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS SORE IN MY MOUTH?

Oral pathologists and oral medicine specialists can help people determine the underlying cause of a mouth sore or lesion. They typically work with other specialists, such as oral surgeons if necessary, to treat or manage the root cause of a patient’s symptoms. Oral health professionals may recommend using oral or systemic medications to reduce discomfort or pain associated with the sore until it heals.


When working to diagnose the cause of an issue such as a sore, oral pathologists and oral medicine specialists will collect a patient’s medical history and then perform an oral examination, recording the characteristics of any sores or questionable areas found. They may take a tissue sample, or biopsy, to help identify the cause of a lesion.


Two more common diseases people present to oral pathologists and oral medicine specialists include lichen planus and mucous membrane pemphigoid. Lichen planus (pronounced LIE-kun PLAY-nus) is a chronic disease that can affect the skin, mouth and other soft tissues. In the mouth or oral cavity, effected individuals may notice bleeding when they brush and floss, and their gums can become red and painful. Patients may experience red and white lacy patches of

discoloration, blistering, ulceration and shedding of the soft tissue in their mouth. When symptoms occur in the mouth, consuming certain foods such as tomato-based products and citrus fruits may worsen discomfort or cause symptom flare-ups. A small percentage of cases of oral lichen planus can progress to oral cancer.


Once a diagnosis of oral lichen planus has been rendered, seeing an oral health care professional who is knowledgeable about the disease process is recommended at least once a year to allow the healthcare professional to evaluate necessary management of the disease and monitor the patient’s condition for any suspicious changes.


Mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) is not as common as lichen planus, but it is still seen in a fair number of patients. Patients with MMP may experience redness and sores in their mouth and on their skin. Scarring is a rare complication of MMP, but when it does occur, it can lead to difficulty with swallowing. If diagnosed with MMP, individuals should also visit an ophthalmologist if there is any irritation of the eyes because MMP may also involve the eye area and lead to blindness.


Pemphigus vulgaris is rarer than MMP, but is a very serious condition that requires early intervention. Individual may notice a sore or lesion in the mouth that is painful, making it hard to swallow or eat. Patients present with blisters that may rupture easily, increasing the odds for infection in these areas. Ruptured blisters may ooze, crust or have a peeling appearance. Blisters may also develop in other areas, including the throat, nose, eyes and elsewhere. Treatment with medication can assist in controlling this disease and keeping symptoms and potential complications in check. Dermatopathologists (doctors trained in the study of skin pathology) and rheumatologists (doctors who received training in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions) help manage lesions outside the mouth.


There are many reasons you may experience a sore or painful place in your mouth, including various classes of medications. You may have a reaction to antibiotics or be antihypertensive. Other medications have been known to cause reactions that can mimic symptoms of the diseases described above. Something as seemingly harmless as cinnamon-flavored candy or even undergoing dental treatments with certain types of dental restorative materials may result in reactions in the mouth that mimic symptoms.


Seeking the help of a healthcare professional can pinpoint the cause of a problem and address an issue before it worsens.    

DR. RASHIDAH WILEY



Dr. Rashidah Wiley is an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. As an oral pathologist, her interests are mucocutaneous diseases and salivary gland pathology. More information about UK Dentistry is available at  www.ukhealthcare.uky.edu/dentistry.

There are a variety of reasons you may develop a sore or lesion in your mouth. These include everything from simply biting your tongue, cheek or lip to wearing poor-fitting dentures to more alarming issues: It could be a symptom of an autoimmune disease or oral cancer.


Generally, if a sore does not go away on its own after a couple of weeks or gets worse, you should see a healthcare provider. There are some instances when you should see a healthcare provider sooner, including if you:



In the case of lesions prompted by an autoimmune disease, the body is over-active and attacks and damages itself. Healthcare professionals work to educate patients and support them in managing an autoimmune disease because it will impact them to some degree for the rest of their lives. Depending on the disease, patients will be encouraged to avoid certain behaviors to decrease the likelihood of a negative reaction, such as triggering the reoccurrence of lesions.