Oral Pathology And Common Oral Diseases
Oral pathology is the study of the impact of diseases on the mouth and other surrounding structures. These diseases can impact your teeth, TMJs, gums, bones that support your teeth, tongue, and soft tissues.
People are mostly familiar with tooth decay and gum diseases. There are, nonetheless, other diseases too that can affect your mouth. In most cases, practicing good oral hygiene and following the dentist’s instructions are the best ways to prevent or get rid of such conditions. Some cases can be severe, though.
Herpes simplex virus
The most common symptoms of herpes simplex virus infection are fever blisters and cold sores. In most cases, these viruses attack during childhood. At that time, the virus attack is usually severer. Painful blisters can develop on the lips, face, and inner lining of the mouth. Other symptoms of this virus are swollen glands and fever.
While these contagious sores diminish over time, the virus stays in the body and remains inactive. Factors that can prompt this virus to become active again include stress, fever, illness, sun exposure, and other problems. The good thing is that these symptoms can be alleviated with the help of over-the-counter drugs.
Candidiasis, also known as thrush, is a condition referring to the overgrowth of candida fungus inside the mouth. People affected by this condition include babies, the elderly, and individuals with weaker immune systems. People who undergo chemotherapy and steroid or antibiotic treatment are also more likely to develop this oral condition. People with dentures can also develop thrush.
This condition forms white patches in the mouth. These patches can become red and inflamed when scrapped. Although these patches can be painful, they usually go away in a couple of weeks. Antifungal medications may be helpful in the treatment of this condition.
Black hairy tongue
Black hairy tongue looks exactly like it sounds. It is, however, harmless and can be easily treated. Our tongue is covered by cone-shaped projections, known as papillae. They shed naturally. When they don’t, they grow beyond their usual length and appear hairy. The black color appears as a result of poor oral hygiene, medications, radiation treatment, and tobacco use. People who drink coffee excessively are also more likely to develop this condition. It can be treated with good oral hygiene practices and using a tongue scraper.
It is the scariest of all oral conditions. Oral cancer can affect the lips, tongue, mouth, and throat. In many cases, it may be preventable. According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, about 50,000 people in the U.S. develop this condition, and the primary factors causing this condition are smoking and alcohol consumption.
Preventing this condition is easy: quit smoking and alcohol consumption. You may also want to visit your dentist regularly to have oral cancer screenings. Remember, early detection is the best way to treat this condition without undergoing intensive procedures. An advanced condition will result in the need to have a more aggressive treatment plan, which can lower the quality of life significantly.
You can keep all of the above oral conditions in check with the help of your dentist. Make sure to go to regular dental checkups to keep up with your oral and dental health.