The prevalence of mouth disorders is increasing rapidly in both adults as well as in children. Children and older people are more prone to develop oral or mouth disorders as compared to the adults. Sugar and fluoride are the dietary factors of interest in dental diseases. Excessive intake of sugar promotes the formation of dental plaque which becomes a predisposing cause of various dental problems. On the other hand, fluoride plays a role in the prevention of tooth decay.
Other nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and phosphate can also be associated with the prevention or decreased risk of developing dental diseases. The impact and the importance of oral health on overall health has been focused by many researchers. Complications associated with dental diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality. Poor oral care can also lead to problems with chewing, swallowing and can negatively impact nutritional intake. There are various types of dental disorders and some of them are as follows:
Canker sores are one of the most common mouth irritations and almost everybody must have had experienced the pain associated with these sores or ulcers. It is also known as aphthous ulcers or mouth ulcers and they generally develop on the tongue, side of the mouth, or gums. Canker sores result from destruction of the protective lining of the mouth. Canker sores are generally harmless but are very painful. Canker sores are basically of three types:
- Minor apthae - Minor apthae are characterized by small ulcers that appear as single or many on the underside of the tongue or on inside lining of the cheek. Generally, this type of canker sores takes a week to heal.
- Major apthae - Major apthae is not a common type of canker sores and it is comparatively a severe form of ulcers. These type of sores are characterized by a small cluster of ulcers that are larger in diameter and are mostly found on lips, throat and soft palate.
- Herpetiform - It is a rare type of canker sores and it is characterized as small ulcers that are large in number. These type of ulcers can cause scarring and take time to heal.
2. Oral cancer
Oral cancer is one of common cancer throughout the world and a large number of people are living with oral cancer. It is a type of cancer that develops on the tongue, the tissue lining the mouth and gums, the floor of the mouth, the base of the tongue and oropharynx.
Most often, oral cancer starts as a tiny and unnoticed white or red spots or small sores somewhere in the mouth. Oral cancer can affect any area of the mouth and it includes lips, gums, cheek linings, tongue, and the hard or soft palate. It is a serious problem which requires early detection. Some of the early signs of oral cancer are as follows:
- A sore that bleeds easily
- Pain or numbness in any area of the mouth
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Change in color of the oral tissues
Tobacco use is the most common risk factor that is associated with the occurrence of oral cancer. Smokers are at high risk of developing this type of cancer as compared to those who do not smoke. The severity of cancer that develops due to cigarette smoking depends on the duration of smoking and the number of smokes per day. Other risk factors of oral cancer include ultraviolet rays, age, gender, poor nutrition, and a weak immune system.
3. Cold sores
Cold sores, also known as herpes simplex is a viral infection which is characterized by blisters that occur on or around the lips. Most often it occurs on the outside of the lips, on the gums, a roof of the mouth and sometimes it can occur on cheeks. Cold sores are fluid filled red blisters and it is accompanied by an itch. Some people find cold sores to be painful while others may not find them painful.
Some of the symptoms that occur in patients having cold sores include fever, unpleasant smelling breath, and restlessness. Cold sores cause the gums to become swollen, red and sometimes it may bleed also. The lymph glands of an infected person become enlarged and tender.
Cold sore is a disease which is caused by a herpes virus and herpes virus is transmitted when a normal person has a direct contact with an infected person. Usually, the symptoms of cold sores occur 2 to 20 days after exposure. The herpes virus remains in the body once an individual is infected by this virus.
4. Dry mouth
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia is a condition which occurs due to lack of saliva. Decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth results when the salivary gland does not function properly. Dry mouth is a condition that can cause difficulties in eating and talking. It is also associated with bad breath.
Saliva plays an important role. It acts as a natural defense system and prevents the occurrence of tooth decay by rinsing away food particles that neutralize harmful chemicals. It performs various functions in the mouth. It not only keeps the mouth wet but it helps in digesting food, controls the bacteria and fungi in the mouth and many more. Dry mouth can be a sign of some serious health condition. The effects of this condition are also severe and the symptoms include extensive dental decay, infections of the tissues of the mouth, ulceration, and soreness in the mouth.
There are various risk factors that are associated with the development of this disease and some of the risk factors include certain medication, aging, chemotherapy, physical trauma, and radiation therapy.
These days, mouth problems are quite common and it requires treatment. Share this post with your family and friends.