It’s been said that your oral health is a window to your overall health. This is for several reasons. For example, studies suggest that certain types of oral bacteria play a role in some diseases. Conversely, certain diseases may lower the body’s resistance to infection, intensifying problems with your oral health.
For good reason then, we say that a thorough dental exam could be your first line of defense against serious disease.
The following diseases are among the most common to affect the mouth:
- Fibroma: Also known as fibroid tumors or fibroids, a fibroma is a benign tumor that is composed of fibrous or connective tissue. It may feel like a lump in the lining of the mouth.
- Leukoplakia: This condition causes white patches to form within the mouth. Although usually benign, these lesions should be biopsied to rule out the possibility of cancer.
- Lichen Planus: This inflammatory disease occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks skin cells or mucous membranes. It may cause discomfort in the form of itchy or painful bumps and sores.
- Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid: An autoimmune disease, this condition is rare and may result in oral lesions.
- Thrush: Also known by its medical name “oral candidiasis”, oral thrush is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans forms in your mouth, causing white lesions. Thrush occurs most often in babies and toddlers, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.
- Oral Cancer: This serious disease can affect many different parts of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, throat and palate, among other areas. It is crucial to diagnose and treat this disease early since it can be life-threatening.
As mentioned, in many cases diseases that originate in other parts of the body may produce effects that are first noticed in the mouth. These diseases may include diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease, HIV/AIDS, Oseteoporosis, Chron’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.