Mouth disorders are very common in both children and adults. Some of the more common disorders of the mouth include cold sores, canker sores, thrush, leukoplakia, dry mouth, gingivitis, bad breath, and dental caries (cavities).
There are several common disorders of the mouth:
Disorders of the mouth are very common. Usually every person has one or more mouth disorders throughout their lifetime. Tooth cavities are particularly common, with about 36 percent of the adult population worldwide having one or more cavities in their permanent teeth. About 50 percent of the general population in the United States carries the HSV-1 virus and is, therefore, at risk of developing active cold sores.
Mouth disorders may be treated by a dentist or a physician, depending on the specific disease. The healthcare provider will obtain a health history that includes questions about dental care, use of tobacco products, alcohol intake, prescribed and over-the-counter medications, and other health problems. The dentist or doctor will perform an examination of the mouth, teeth, and gums. A biopsy of a mouth lesion may be done to determine whether the lesion is cancerous. X-rays may be done to determine whether there is any associated dental decay or bone disease.
Many disorders of the mouth can be prevented by maintaining a routine of dental care, including brushing and flossing teeth at least once daily and having professional cleaning of the teeth and dental checkups at least once a year.
Keeping dentures clean and removing them at night can prevent thrush and other mouth disorders.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating nutritious foods, getting exercise, and not smoking, can lower the risk of mouth disorders.
See also AIDS and HIV Infection • Cancer: Overview • Cavities • Fungal Infections • Herpes Simplex Virus Infections • Impacted Teeth • Oral Cancer • Sjögren's syndrome • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome • Thrush • Tobacco-Related Diseases: Overview • Viral Infections
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American Academy of Oral Medicine. 2150 N. 107th St., Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98133. Telephone: 206-209-5279. Website: http://www.aaom.com (accessed April 16, 2016).
American Dental Association. 211 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Telephone: 312-440-2500. Website: http://www.ada.org (accessed April 16, 2016).
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* antihistamines (an-tie-HIS-tuhmeens) are drugs used to combat allergic reactions and relieve itching.
* decongestants (dee-con-JEStents) are medications used to relieve congestion in the nasal passages and sinuses.
* diuretics (DYE-yoor-EH-tiks) are medications that increase the body's output of urine.
* HIV or human immunodeficiency virus (HYOO-mun ih-myoono-dih-FIH-shen-see) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), an infection that severely weakens the immune system.
* AIDS (or Acquired Immunodeficiency [ih-myoo-no-dih-FIH-shen-see] Syndrome) is an infection that severely weakens the immune system; it is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
* chemotherapy (KEE-mo-THER-apee) is the treatment of cancer with powerful drugs that kill cancer cells.
* radiation therapy is a treatment that uses high-energy radiation from x-rays and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink cancerous growths.
* diabetes (dye-uh-BEE-teez) is a condition in which the body's pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body cannot use the insulin it makes effectively, resulting in increased levels of sugar in the blood.
* sinuses (SY-nuh-ses) are hollow, air-filled cavities in the facial bones.
* bacteria (bak-TEER-ee-a) are the single-celled microorganisms that typically reproduce by cell division. Some, but not all, types of bacteria can cause disease in humans. Many types can live in the body without causing harm.
* immune system (im-YOON SIStem) is the system of the body composed of specialized cells and the substances they produce that helps protect the body against disease-causing germs.
* antibiotics (an-tie-by-AH-tiks) are drugs that kill or slow the growth of bacteria.