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Common Mouth Disorders

Posted on 26-12-16

Your lips, your smile… These are some of the aspects that people notice about you when you converse with somebody. It is one of the key aspects that define your personality. So your mouth definitely requires to be in good health lest it would be extremely difficult to eat, drink or even smile.

Some of the most common mouth disorders are cold sores, canker sores, thrush, leukoplakia and the most notorious of all – bad breath.

  • Cold Sores

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are painful sores formed around the lips that often break open and ooze out clear fluid and forms scabs. This is caused by the Herpes simplex virus (HSV) which finds its way into the body through cuts in the skin or mouth. The liquid which oozes out of the blisters is highly infectious and can transmit the disease to another person. It can also spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms of this disorder include pain in the affected point, low-grade fever, sore throat and swollen lymph glands in the neck. They usually heal on their own over a couple of days, but available treatments include skin creams, ointments and pills to ease through the pain.

  • Canker Sores

Canker sores are usually found in the inner side of your lips or cheeks. They appear as red sores with a white or yellow, sometimes pus-filled core. They are not contagious and usually develop when you bit your inner lip or have braces. Consuming foods or drinks that you are allergic to or those that are highly acidic in nature may also lead to the formation of canker sores. Another common cause for canker sores is the deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid in your diet. Treating canker sores usually do not require visits to the hospital as home remedies such as rinsing your mouth with lukewarm saline water or applying a paste of turmeric with salt heals the sores faster. Some doctors prescribe steroid ointments to ease the pain caused by the sores.

  • Thrush

Thrush is a white rash caused by the yeast – Candida fungus , inside your mouth. This yeast is also responsible for nappy rash in toddlers and vaginal yeast infections in women. This infection is caused when there is an imbalance in pH levels in your mouth, resulting in an increase of the population of micro-organisms that are usually found in your digestive tract. It also appears in breastfeeding babies due to high lactose content in milk. Telltale signs of thrush are white, slightly raised patches inside your mouth, especially on your tongue and your tonsils. In extreme cases, the infection may spread over to the esophagus and result in painful swallowing and fever. Treatments include anti-fungal medications prescribed by your physician. Practicing good oral hygiene helps prevent such infections.

  • Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia is similar to thrush in appearance because of the white or grey patches found on the inner linings of your mouth and on the surface of the tongue. Causes of leukoplakia include irritable dentures, chronic smoking, oral cancer, poor oral hygiene and AIDS. Treatment include removal of the source of irritation such as dentures. In cases where external sources are not involved, surgical removal of lesions is the only available treatment. A biopsy may be conducted on the lesion sample to rule out oral cancer. In extreme cases, lesions may appear to be hairy due to the greyish-black discolouration, and would be subjected to antiviral medications.

  • Bad Breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a result of poor oral hygiene and unhealthy lifestyle. Certain foods with strong odours such as garlic can cause an intense mouth odour. Moreover, if you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, food particles accumulate in the gaps of your teeth resulting in bacterial growth, which is one of the major reasons for bad breath. Gum disorders, yeast infections, dry mouth and respiring through the mouth can also cause halitosis. Maintaining good oral hygiene and drinking lots of water can help reduce bad breathe to a great extent. Antibacterial mouthwashes or rinsing your mouth with a dash of lemon and salt in lukewarm water may also help in eliminating mouth odour.

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