Some mouth problems are minor little more than annoyances. Others are a full-blown dental emergency in Fairfax. Your dentist can say for sure. He or she can also help you to get past your symptoms and enjoy lasting relief. Here’s a look at some of the common lip and mouth conditions that dentists treat.
Also known as “fever blisters,” these are usually caused by chapped lips or minor infections. Sometimes, however, they are the result of serious infections. Your dentist can offer a firm diagnosis. He or she can also help by prescribing medication for frequent or severe cold sores.
This usually shows up as a white patch inside the mouth. It’s caused by the candida fungus, which exists in almost every human body. Normally our systems keep it under control. But imbalances caused by corticosteroids or antibiotics can cause the fungus to multiply. Correcting the problem may require altering your medications or prescribing an antifungal agent.
Black Hairy Tongue
Your tongue is covered by small bumps called papillae that aid digestion and help you to taste food. But sometimes these nodules can grow out of control, causing the condition known as “black hairy tongue.”
This problem is especially common among smokers, people with nutritional deficiencies, or those who neglect their oral hygiene. Treatment consist of correcting the underlying cause.
These are painful ulcerative blisters that appear inside the mouth. Occasional canker sores are very common and can usually be treated by simple over-the-counter formulas.
Persistent canker sores may indicate an underlying condition such as prolonged stress or vitamin deficiency. Your dentist can help by prescribing an analgesic cream and determining the cause of the problem.
Typically manifesting as white spots in the mouth, leukoplakia usually indicates some type of oral irritant, including reactions to tobacco or cigarette smoke. See your dentist if the problem continues. In some cases, it can be an early warning sign of oral cancer.
Your tongue’s papillae may begin to disappear later in life, usually as a result of genetic factors. When this happens, the problem may reveal itself as unusual patterns on your tongue. These most often take the form of generic geographical-type markings, hence the name for the condition.
While usually harmless, the condition can be unpleasant and may require pain relievers or other medications. You can minimize your risk of suffering from this problem by avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and spicy foods.
This is a serious condition that requires prompt treatment. Some of the more warning signs include:
- A sore in the mouth that never heals.
- A numb sensation in the face, neck, or throat.
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, or chewing food.
- Unexplained blemishes in the mouth, throat, or tongue.
- A persistent cough with no apparent explanation.
See your dentist right away if you suspect you’re suffering from this disease. Early-stage cases are usually curable.
Telling the difference between a routine condition and a problem requiring an emergency dentist in Fairfax isn’t always easy. It’s a good idea to see a medical professional if you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned in this post. A little bit of caution can pay off with big health benefits.
About the Author
Dr. Aly Elgeddawi is a skilled general dentist with advanced training in cosmetic, endodontic, and periodontics procedures. He earned his DDS degree from Howard University College of Dentistry. You can reach his office online or by calling (703) 207-0700.