Diseases of the oral mucosa
Food starts to break down in the mouth. If a person develops a disease of the oral mucosa (OOM), then the enzymes contained in saliva will not work at full strength. This can provoke disturbances in the functioning of the digestive system and cause bad breath. Even brushing your teeth does not allow you to freshen your breath for a long time, since purulent defects form in the oral cavity. They give a person pain, itching and burning. Therefore, soft tissue inflammation should be treated as soon as possible.
- Causes of occurrence
- Symptoms that should alert!
- Classification of diseases of oral mucosa
- Traumatic lesions
- Infectious and inflammatory diseases
- Viral diseases
- Fungal pathologies
- Other pathologies
- Oral mucosa cancer
- Occupational pathologies
Causes of occurrence
There are the following reasons leading to the development of diseases of the oral cavity:
- Poor hygiene. Sometimes a person just rarely brushes his teeth, sometimes he does it wrong, and sometimes he even uses low-quality products to treat the oral cavity.
- Alcohol abuse. Alcoholism leads to disruptions in metabolic processes in the mucous membranes of the oral cavity.
- Eating too hot foods and drinks. Microburns violate the integrity of the mucous membrane and reduce its protective functions.
- Alternating hot and cold food or drinks. This contributes to the destruction of tooth enamel.
- Excessive consumption of sugary foods. Violation of the acid-base balance in the oral cavity leads to the multiplication of harmful flora and irritation of the mucous membranes.
Diseases that increase the likelihood of damage to the oral mucosa:
- Diabetes. If the level of glucose in the blood is high, then this can cause suppuration of soft tissues. When its values are low, it is manifested by bleeding gums.
- Deficiency of fluoride, calcium and phosphorus. This leads to capillary fragility and thinning of the tooth enamel.
- Frequent colds.
- Bacterial infections.
- Viral diseases.
- Fungal infection of the oral cavity. Low hemoglobin levels.
- Diseases of an autoimmune nature.
- Tissue hypoxia.
- Chronic and acute inflammatory processes.
- Violations in the functioning of the immune system, which can be caused by HIV, rheumatoid diseases, STDs, etc.
It is impossible to ignore the discomfort that occurs in the mouth. If they persist for several days, and the defects that appear do not go away after treatment with antiseptic agents, you need to contact your dentist.
Symptoms that should alert
Oral discomfort is a reason to visit the dentist's office. The doctor will diagnose and prescribe the necessary treatment.
Symptoms that require medical advice:
- Bad breath.
- Swelling of the gums, bleeding.
- The appearance of rashes, ulcers and other defects in the mouth.
- Pain and burning of the mucous membranes, which are aggravated by eating.
- Increased salivation, or dry mouth.
Classification of diseases of oral mucosa
- Depending on the form of the pathological process, acute and chronic diseases are distinguished. In turn, chronic disorders can worsen and enter a phase of remission.
- Depending on the stage of development of the disease, they are distinguished: initial, acute and advanced form.
- Depending on the causative agent of the disease, viral, bacterial and fungal infections are isolated. Also, diseases of the oral mucosa can be autoimmune and traumatic.
- Depending on the method of transmission of the disease, sexually transmitted infections, household infections, and airborne infections are distinguished. Also, the pathology can be of an allergic nature or occur due to hypothermia of the body. Inflammation accompanied by suppuration is often the result of dirt entering microscopic wounds on the oral mucosa.
- Depending on the place of concentration of inflammation, diseases of the lips, gums, tongue, palate are distinguished.
- Depending on the type of tissue affected, infections are distinguished that are concentrated on the mucous membranes, on soft tissues, and on the bone structures of the oral cavity.
The oral cavity suffers all the time due to the effects of various irritants. They can be mechanical, physical, and chemical. If such factors are not too intense, then the mucous membranes cope with them on their own. When local immunity is insufficient, irritation and inflammation appear in the mouth.
Mechanical damage to the oral cavity. Injury can be caused by a blow, by biting soft tissues with teeth, or by wounds with sharp objects. At the site of damage, a bruise, abrasion, erosion, or other deep defect occurs. If bacteria enter the wound, then it will transform into an ulcer and will heal for a very long time.
Chronic injuries. These are the most common injuries to the mucous membranes of the mouth. Sharp edges of teeth, chipped fillings, broken crowns, dentures and other orthodontic structures can lead to their occurrence. At the site of injury, swelling and redness occurs. Then this area is transformed into erosion, and then into a decubital ulcer. The ulcer is very painful, has an even base, and is covered with fibrinous bloom on top. At the edges, the ulcer is uneven; if it is present in the oral cavity for a long time, then its edges become dense. Chronic or acute inflammation leads to an increase in regional lymph nodes in size. When probing them, a person experiences pain. If left untreated, such an ulcer can develop into a malignant tumor.
Infectious and inflammatory diseases
Infectious and inflammatory processes in the oral cavity develop due to the multiplication of viruses or bacteria. Most often, people are diagnosed with gingivitis, glossitis, pharyngitis, stomatitis. Errors in oral hygiene, poor-quality care of the gums, tongue or teeth lead to inflammation. Other risk factors include diseases of the digestive system, namely: gastritis, enterocolitis, gastric ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer.
Stomatitis can be diagnosed at any age.
Doctors distinguish several types of stomatitis, including:
Aphthous stomatitis. The patient's mucous membrane of the oral cavity swells and turns red, then ulcers form on it, which will be covered with a white coating. These defects hurt a lot.
Ulcerative stomatitis. This disease is accompanied by the formation of erosions in the oral cavity. The patient's body temperature may rise, the lymph nodes become painful. General health worsens. To find out the cause of the inflammation, you need to check the condition of the organs of the digestive system. Often these patients are diagnosed with enteritis or gastric ulcer.
Catarrhal stomatitis. The main symptom of the disease is swelling and redness of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity. A white bloom appears at the site of infection. It is difficult for the patient to talk and eat. An unpleasant odor begins to emanate from a person's mouth, and salivation increases.
It will not be possible to independently diagnose the type of stomatitis; in order to understand what kind of disease a person develops, you need to visit the dentist's office.
Read more: Stomatitis in adults: treatment methods
Glossitis is an infectious and inflammatory disease of the tongue that can be caused by viruses or bacteria. At risk are people who neglect oral hygiene.
Streptococci often cause inflammation. However, these are not the only microorganisms that are capable of provoking the disease. Increases the likelihood of penetration of pathogenic flora into the thickness of the tongue resulting from burns and injuries. Glossitis often develops in people who use sprays to give their breath freshness, as well as in people who abuse alcohol.
- Burning of the tongue, the appearance of a sensation of a foreign body in the thickness of the organ.
- Redness of the mucous membranes of the tongue, increased salivation.
- Distorted taste.
Glossitis can take such forms as:
Superficial glossitis. The symptoms of the disease resemble stomatitis. Only the mucous membrane of the oral cavity suffers. The inflammation has an uncomplicated course and lends itself well to correction.
Deep glossitis. The entire surface of the tongue suffers, along its entire thickness. Often, abscesses and areas of abscess appear on the organ. Treatment must be started immediately or the infection may spread to the neck. This is a direct threat to human life. Deep glossitis requires surgery.
Separately, non-inflammatory forms of glossitis are distinguished:
Desquamative glossitis. It often develops in women carrying a child, in people with diseases of the digestive system, with blood pathologies. Also, the risk factors leading to its occurrence are: metabolic disorders, rheumatism, helminthic invasions. In the patient, the epithelium begins to collapse on the back of the tongue and on its sides. This leads to the formation of foci of bright red color. They alternate with the unchanged mucous membrane of the organ, therefore, when examining it, it seems that the tongue resembles a geographical map. Therefore, this type of glossitis is called "geographical language".
Diamond-shaped glossitis. This disease belongs to congenital pathologies, it occurs due to abnormalities in the development of the fetus. It is also called median glossitis.
Villous glossitis. In patients with this form of the disease, papillae grow on the tongue, which cover its entire surface.
Folded glossitis. This developmental anomaly is characterized by the appearance of folds on the back of the tongue. The deepest groove runs along the central part of the organ. The disorder is diagnosed in children immediately after birth. As a rule, it does not cause any discomfort to the person, so treatment is not carried out.
Gunter's glossitis. A person's tongue acquires an unnatural smoothness, papillae disappear on it, so it looks polished. Hunter's glossitis is a symptom of a deficiency in the body of vitamin B12 and folic acid, that is, it is a sign of anemia.
Interstitial glossitis. This disease develops against the background of progressive syphilis. The tongue becomes dense, the patient cannot move it normally.
Read more: Glossitis - the first signs and treatment
Gingivitis is characterized by inflammation of the gums. In this case, only their surface layer suffers. They say about gingivostomatitis when ulcers form not only on the gums, but also on the surface of the cheeks. Most often, this form of the disease is diagnosed in children.
The main cause of gingivitis, dentists say, is poor oral hygiene. Often men who lead an unhealthy lifestyle suffer from gum disease. If there is no treatment, then gingivitis will progress and turn into periodontitis, which is associated with the risk of tooth loss.
You need to take care of your teeth carefully. If you do not clean out the remnants of food, then bacteria begin to multiply in them. The more there are, the higher the likelihood of gum disease. Gingivitis can be acute or chronic. In some people, the inflammation is recurrent.
Dentists distinguish between several types of gingivitis:
Ulcerative gingivitis. The disease develops sharply, the gums swell, become bright red. An unpleasant odor comes from the patient's mouth.
Catarrhal gingivitis. This inflammation is manifested by swelling, pain and bleeding of the gums. However, the lesion is superficial, the gum pockets are not affected.
Hypertrophic gingivitis. The disease is accompanied by swelling and compaction of the gingival papillae, the gum pocket hurts, it becomes red. Hypertrophic gingivitis can be edematous and fibrous. The edematous form of inflammation leads to severe bleeding of the gums, they swell and increase in size. With fibrous gingivitis, the gum tissue thickens, but the person does not complain of pain, there is no bleeding. It will not be possible to cope with hypertrophic gingivitis with drugs; the patient will need the help of a surgeon.
Read more: Gingivitis in adults - how to recognize and eliminate?
With pharyngitis, the mucous membrane of the throat becomes inflamed. A person experiences perspiration and pain in the throat, food and water intake is accompanied by unpleasant sensations.
Viral diseases of the oral mucosa involve infections of a bacterial and fungal nature. This also includes ulcerative necrotizing stomatitis and venereal infections, which manifest themselves with various symptoms.
Most often, the oral cavity suffers from the herpes virus. It quickly spreads through the tissues, so it will be difficult to cope with the disease on your own. Doctor's help is required.
Herpetic infection is manifested by ulcers localized in the palate, on the cheeks, on the inner surface of the lips. The disease can be acute or chronic. The gums are also affected. Symptoms of infection are similar to acute catarrhal gingivitis.
When a fungus of the genus Candida is activated in the mouth, the person develops signs of inflammation. These yeast-like organisms are normally always present in the oral mucosa. However, their growth is held back by beneficial microflora.
Fungi are activated for the following reasons:
- Decreased immunity.
- Past illnesses.
- Hypothermia of the body.
- Inflammation in the mouth.
The active reproduction of fungi leads to damage to the mucous membranes, that is, a person develops candidomycosis.
Yeast-like fungi can cause the occurrence of pathologies such as:
Atrophic candidiasis. The disease is acute, the mucous membranes in the mouth are dry and red. The affected areas are covered with a white coating, the skin is peeling at the corners of the lips.
Atrophic chronic candidiasis. Most often, this form of the disease manifests itself in people using removable plate prostheses. A person experiences dry mouth, mucous membranes are severely inflamed.
Pseudomembranous candidiasis. The disease is diagnosed quite often. It has an acute course. The mucous membranes of the oral cavity are covered with a plaque that resembles cottage cheese. While eating, a person experiences pain and itching. If the food is spicy, then a burning sensation may join.
Hyperplastic candidiasis. The acute stage of the disease quickly transforms into a chronic form. The oral cavity is inflamed, plaques and nodules spread through it, which will be covered with a dense coating. When you try to remove it, the inflammatory response only intensifies. A bleeding wound forms under the plaque.
In order to prevent the development of a fungal infection, efforts should be made to increase immunity. Hypothermia of the body should not be allowed, stress should be avoided if possible.
In dental practice, one has to deal with not only common, but also rare diseases.
Dysbacteriosis of the oral cavity often develops due to the uncontrolled intake of antibacterial drugs or local antiseptics. They are often used to treat colds.
The first signs of dysbiosis may go unnoticed. A person develops bad breath, cracks may form in the corners of the lips. As the pathology progresses, periodontal disease develops, the teeth become shaky. A plaque forms on them, which destroys the enamel. If there is no treatment, the receptors of the tongue, vocal cords, tonsils will suffer.
The appearance of cracks in the corners of the lips is the first sign of dysbiosis.
With leukoplakia, keratinization of a certain area of the oral mucosa occurs.
The development of leukoplakia is facilitated by such factors as:
- Damage to an area of the mucous membrane with something sharp, such as a chipped tooth or denture.
- Reception of hot and cold meals.
- Alcohol abuse.
- Therapy with certain drugs.
To cope with the disease, you need to eliminate the cause that provoked damage to the mucous membrane. The oral cavity is sanitized, applications are applied to the affected areas.
This disease is infectious in nature. The salivary glands are affected. The infection can be brought into them during surgery, or with trauma to the glands.
The main symptom of the disease is swelling in a characteristic place, suppuration of the gland and necrosis. A person's body temperature rises, pains in the mouth occur.
To cope with sialoadenitis, you will need antibiotics. The oral cavity is treated with antiseptic compounds. Vitamins are prescribed to increase immunity.
Xerostomia is characterized by dryness in the mouth. This disorder can develop against the background of diabetes mellitus or due to a malfunction of the salivary glands. Other causes of xerostomia include allergic reactions of the body, endocrine pathologies.
The disorder is manifested by dry mouth, inflammation, itching and burning. The oral cavity as a whole suffers. Sometimes the patient's salivary glands and lymph nodes located under the jaw become inflamed.
This disease is characterized by the appearance of blisters, ulcers and plaque in the mouth. The areas of inflammation differ from the rest of the mucous membrane in a bright red color. Sometimes characteristic rashes appear not only in the mouth, but also on the skin. Often lichen red is combined with pathologies of the liver or stomach, with diabetes mellitus.
Immunity disorders become the basis for the development of pathology. Also, doctors are of the opinion that the tendency to lichen redness can be inherited.
The acute stage of the disease is said in the case when lichen appeared less than a month ago. Subacute illness lasts no more than six months. The chronic form of lichen lasts more than 6 months.
Oral mucosa cancer
The oral cavity, like other parts of the body, is prone to cancerous tumors. The disease can affect the cheeks, tongue, palate, alveolar ridge and other areas.
There are three forms of oral cancer:
Nodular cancer. A seal appears on the tissues, which has clear boundaries. The color of the node may not differ from the surrounding mucosa, or may be white. The growth of the tumor is quite intense.
Ulcerative form. One or more ulcers form in the mouth and cause pain. Blood oozes from them. Defects exist for a long time and do not go away.
Papillary form. The tumor will be dense and drooping. Its color does not differ from the color of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity.
At risk of developing cancer are people with low immunity, as well as smokers. The neoplasm of the oral cavity is dangerous by early metastasis. First of all, the daughter cells of the tumor penetrate into the submandibular lymph nodes. In addition, metastases can be found in the liver, brain and lungs.
Treatment for oral cancer requires surgery. The patient is then given radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Occupational diseases of the oral cavity develop due to the fact that the body is influenced by certain pathological factors. Moreover, they will be associated with the conditions of human labor activity.
Various harmful substances, for example, heavy metal salts, can negatively reflect on the oral cavity. Under their influence, a person develops stomatitis, which will have a certain set of symptoms. Doctors distinguish between mercury, bismuth, lead stomatitis, etc.
Most often it is possible to cope with occupational diseases only after changing the workplace. When the negative factor ceases to affect the body, the disease recedes. Sometimes a person needs an antidote.
The general principles of treatment are: sanitation of the oral cavity, relief of inflammation, elimination of pain. It is easier to prevent any disease than to cure it later. Therefore, you need to remember about preventive measures.
The main preventive measure is regular visits to the dentist. A doctor's examination should be done at least 2 times a year.
In addition, the following guidelines must be followed:
- You need to brush your teeth every day, morning and evening. The procedure should last at least 3 minutes.
- After eating, the mouth should be rinsed. The rinse aid should not be too cold or too hot.
- You shouldn't eat a lot of sweets. After using them, rinse your mouth with water.
- Do not consume hot drinks and sweet foods at the same time.
- The diet should contain foods that contain a sufficient amount of vitamins.
Diseases of the oral mucosa can be both mild and quite serious. The sooner a pathology is detected, the faster it will be possible to cope with it. Traditional methods of treatment help to get rid of only the symptoms of the disorder. They can also be used prophylactically. However, to eliminate the disease, professional medical attention is required.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".