PR: 4 Oral Lesions Dentists Most Commonly Come Across in Patients

30.07.2018

Oral health and hygiene are important aspects of overall well-being. They are also indicators of how good your lifestyle habits are and how well you address the health needs of your body.

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Regular dental checkups, good oral hygiene, a healthy diet and a responsible lifestyle are all important to ensure oral wellbeing. It is important that you pay attention to your mouth and take care of problems that may crop up as early as possible.
 
Mouth ulcers or lesions are one of the most common oral health problems that we face. In fact, the herpes simplex virus 1 that causes cold sores is found in two-thirds of all adults in the world and is diagnosed on an almost daily basis at dental offices specializing in Marietta family dental care. Most lesions are harmless and go away on their own or with mild medication. Their common causes include trauma, infections, inflammation, and stress. If a lesion refuses to heal after considerable time, then doctors will check for symptoms of oral cancer.
 
As a dentist, it is helpful to know about the most common lesions you can expect to come across in your patients. Here are a few of them.
 
1) Canker Sores
 
Canker sores are found on multiple spots including on the insides of cheeks, on the tongue, at the base of gums, and inside the lips. It is hard to pinpoint the exact cause, but cankers can be caused by a range of factors from over-consumption of acidic foods, infections, nutrient deficiency, mouth injury or friction from a sharp protrusion such as from a broken tooth or ill-placed braces to hormonal changes or even stress. You will be able to detect the cause with a thorough exam.
 
A tingling or burning sensation is often the sign of a sore forming in the mouth. Sores are usually shallow and round and disappear in a week or two. In some cases, pus or blood may ooze out of the sore if it is severe, infected or irritated by an external agent.
 
Habits like chewing lips or accidentally biting the tongue can cause the skin to break in the inside of your mouth and causes ulcers. Hot liquids, acidic foods, alcohol, and smoking should be avoided to improve sores. If the canker sore becomes too big or does not go away even after two weeks, you will have to conduct further tests and advise further treatment.
 
2) Cold Sores
 
Cold sores or fever blisters are a result of being infected by herpes simplex virus type 1. These sores are highly contagious and are transmitted by skin contact or through saliva. 
 
Cold sores appear as clusters of raised red blisters and are noticed outside and around the mouth. If you administer medicines as soon as you spot the sore forming, the patient will be able to avoid getting one. There is not much cure after the blisters have emerged and you will have to wait it out for them to recede. 
 
Usually, cold sores are accompanied by fever, nausea and cold-like symptoms.
 
3) Candidiasis
 
Candidiasis or oral thrush is another common oral health problem. It occurs when there is a yeast infection in the oral cavity and is caused by fungus collecting on the inner lining of the mouth or on the tongue. The fungus Candida albicans is found in small amounts in the mouth and normally do not cause any harm; but when the fungal growth increases uncontrollably, health problems surface.
 
Oral thrush appears as creamy white bumps on your tongue, inner cheeks, top of the mouth or even on tonsils and esophagus. The bumps may bleed slightly when scraped. 
 
With proper treatment oral thrush goes away in a couple of weeks. It becomes more difficult when the patients have a compromised or weakened immune system. Immune systems are weakened by certain medications like those given in the treatment of cancer. Leukemia and HIV are diseases that attack and weaken the immune system. Diabetic patients are also more vulnerable to oral infections like thrush due to a high sugar level in the saliva. 
 
A dentist will have to first ensure that there are no underlying health conditions that hinder recovery before administering treatment for candidiasis.
 
4) Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
 
The hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) are most commonly seen in young kids. It is highly contagious and is caused by the virus from the Enterovirus genus. The infection usually spreads when a person comes into contact with surfaces infected with the virus. The virus spreads through bodily fluids or respiratory secretions.
 
The common symptoms of infection include blisters or rashes on the hands and feet and painful lesions or sores in the mouth. The patient may also complain of a sore throat, poor appetite, and fever. Diagnosis can be made by a physical exam. The throat swab or stool sample can help in further diagnosis and ascertain the presence of the virus.
 
There is no cure for the disease and symptoms typically subside in seven to ten days. Topical ointments to soothe the rashes, pain relievers and syrups to ease a sore throat are part of the prescribed treatment.
 
Conclusion
 
Oral lesions are not life-threatening and normally do not pose any health risk. But, it is the responsibility of the dentist to ensure that there are no serious underlying health conditions posing a risk to the patient’s oral wellbeing. Further tests can be conducted to make sure that the lesions are not symptoms of something more dangerous.
 

Article last time updated on 30.07.2018.

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