Diseases of the Mouth

There are a number of common mouth diseases that can affect people at various points in their lives. It’s important to look after your oral health by brushing and flossing regularly and by visiting your Elk Grove dentist on a regular basis. Diseases like hand-foot-mouth disease, thrush, and gingivitis all need to be treated promptly.

Hand-foot-mouth disease is usually seen in babies and children. Symptoms include blistering in the mouth, sore throat, fever, and lack of appetite. This common mouth disease also presents as a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The virus is spread from person to person and frequent hand washing is a good strategy to keep the risk of spreading it down. Since hand-foot-mouth disease is a virus, there is no specific treatment ordered to treat this example of common mouth diseases. Specific symptoms can be treated, though. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to reduce fever and treat the pain caused by the mouth sores.

Another example of disease of the mouth is thrush. This is an oral yeast infection that affects children and adults. Yeast is normally present in a person’s mouth and if the levels are at a normal level, this is not a cause for concern. However, when the individual’s resistance to infection is low, the level of yeast can get out of balance, and cause an infection. Thrush looks like white lesions on the tongue and in the mouth. The tissue underneath the lesions will appear red in color and my bleed. Your doctor or dentist can diagnose a case of thrush and recommend treatment options. When babies have thrush, most of the time no specific treatment is needed and the infection will clear up on its own. In adults, a special mouthwash or lozenges with anti-fungal properties may be ordered.

Periodontal disease is often a result of poor oral care and hygiene, though not always. In some cases, weakened immune systems or genetic disorders can result in chronic periodontal disease. A far more common cause of periodontal disease is the long-term neglect of the teeth and gums. Harmful bacteria build up in the mouth, on the surface of teeth, and between the teeth and gums to forms plaque. If plaque remains on the surface of the teeth and between the teeth and gums, it becomes a much harder substance called tartar. Gingivitis is yet another example of common mouth diseases. This condition causes the gums to swell. Bleeding after brushing may be a sign of gingivitis, but there are other factors that my increase your risk of developing the disorder. Tobacco use, poor nutrition, substance abuse, and the hormonal changes present during pregnancy have been linked to gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, which is a more serious mouth disease. It’s a good idea to look after your oral health by practicing good oral hygiene. Seek medical attention if you notice something that doesn’t appear normal, and be on the lookout for symptoms of these common mouth diseases.

In healthy mouths, the buildup of plaque occurs naturally, but is easily controlled by regular brushing and flossing and routine professional teeth cleanings. However, if the bacteria begin to increase either due to neglect or to a medical condition, the tartar eventually destroys the gums and supporting structures. Periodontal disease occurs more frequently in people with diabetes, osteoporosis, herpes, and diseases that weaken the immune system. Other risk factors for developing periodontal disease are preventable and include smoking and vitamin C deficiency. Short of poor oral hygiene, smoking is the leading preventable cause of periodontal disease.