Patient Condition Information

Atypical Odontalgia

Atypical odontalgia, also known as atypical facial pain, phantom tooth pain, or neuropathic orofacial pain, is characterized by chronic pain in a tooth or teeth, or in a site where teeth have been extracted or following endodontic treatment, without an identifiable cause. Over time, the pain may spread to involve wider areas of the face or jaws.

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Bisphosphonate Therapy

Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that are used to prevent bone loss demineralization (weakening or destruction). These have been used since the 1970s, but technological developments in recent years have continued to reduce the frequency of dosage and made other stronger forms of the drugs available.

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Blood Thinners and Dental Care

Many dental patients are taking “blood thinner” medications for various medical conditions to prevent the formation of potentially harmful blood cloths [e.g: stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE)]. However, these medications interfere with the body’s normal clotting mechanism to stop blood flow at a site of tissue injury, which is of concern to dentists for procedures that cause bleeding.

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Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a benign condition that presents as a burning sensation in the absence of any obvious findings in the mouth and in the absence of abnormal blood tests. BMS affects around 2% of the population with women being up to seven times more likely to be diagnosed than men.

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Canker Sores

Canker sores (recurrent aphthous stomatitis, RAS) are among the most common of oral conditions and are experienced by more than half of the population. These small, round or oval, painful yellowish sores often first appear in adolescence.

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Canker Sores - Treatment

As with all disorders of the mouth, an accurate diagnosis by a trained healthcare professional is required before treatment is started.

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Diabetes Mellitus

Poorly controlled diabetic patients are at risk for numerous oral complications such as periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, infection, neuropathy, and poor healing.

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Dry Mouth

The many causes of dry mouth, combined with its variable severity, mandate that treatment be individually tailored to fit each patient’s situation. The treatment goals are summarized to the right. When the oral dryness is caused by a medication, there is a possibility the condition may improve as the body adjusts to the medicine.

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Fissured Tongue

The term fissured tongue describes the finding of multiple small furrows or grooves on the dorsal (top) surface of the tongue.

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Geographic Tongue

Geographic tongue (also known as benign migratory glossitis) is an inflammatory disorder that usually appears on the top and sides of the tongue.

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Gingival Enlargement

Gingival (Gum) enlargement, also known as gingival hyperplasia or hypertrophy, is an abnormal overgrowth of gingival tissues.

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Hairy Tongue

The term hairy tongue is used to describe an abnormal coating on the top (dorsal) surface of the tongue. It is a relatively common, temporary, and harmless condition that occurs in as much as 13% of the population.

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Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a very common and easily transmitted virus. In fact, 80% or more of people have been infected with herpes simplex virus-1. Most of us acquire the virus early in childhood from our parents, relatives, or childhood contacts through normal kissing, etc. Most of the time, the first infection is associated with few or no symptoms, but sometimes primary herpes simplex virus infection can produce mild to severe pain and difficulty in swallowing. Lesions resolve and pain decreases usually after 8 to 16 days.

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Median Rhomboid Glossitis

Median rhomboid glossitis is the term used to describe a smooth, red, flat or raised nodular area on the top part (dorsum) of the middle or back of the tongue. 

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Methamphetamine Abuse

Methamphetamine (meth) is a commonly abused, potent stimulant drug that is part of a larger family of is an amphetamine derivative with similar stimulant properties. It is sometime referred to a poor man's cocaine.

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Oral Changes Associated with Tobacco Use

The oral changes from tobacco use range from harmless soft tissue changes to a life-threatening oral cancer.

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Oral Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a frequent and serious complication following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), also known as “bone marrow transplantation” (BMT; for explanation of these terms see sidebar). It usually develops within the first 6 to 24 months following HSCT.

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Oral Hypersensitivity Reactions

Hypersensitivity reactions are abnormal reactions of the immune system that occur in response to exposure to otherwise harmless substances. These reactions encompass true allergic and other non-allergic reactions and their severity can range from mild to life-threatening.

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Oral Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is a disease that can affect the skin and any lining mucosa. This could be the oral, esophageal, vaginal mucosa as well as the skin. Often, it is found only in the oral cavity. Overall, lichen planus affects approximately 2 percent of the population. Although the disorder may occur in all age groups, women over the age 50 years are most commonly affected.

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Oral Mucositis

Treatment for cancer typically involves a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. One of the unfortunate consequences of these therapies is the development of painful mouth sores, known as oral mucositis.

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Oral Yeast Infections

An oral yeast infection (aka thrush or candidiasis) most commonly appears as white cottage cheese-like plaques on any surface inside the mouth. Less commonly, it may appear as red irritated areas inside the mouth. This red form is often present on the tissues of the mouth that are covered by a denture or other prosthetic appliance.

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Premalignant Oral Lesions

A routine part of an oral examination should be inspection not only of the teeth and gums but also of the soft tissues in and around the mouth. Dentists look for abnormal changes that are loosely called “lesions.”

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Solar Cheilitis

What is the cause? Solar cheilitis (also known as actinic cheilitis or cheilosis) is a degenerative condition of the tissue of the lips after years of exposure to ultraviolet (UV, mainly UVB) light, such as sunlight. It is a premalignant condition.

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Tobacco Use: Common Questions & Concerns

I want to quit but a cigarette is my closest companion and friend. I have them with me wherever I go. What am I going to have to do to get them out of my life?

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Tooth Clenching or Grinding

Clenching or grinding of the teeth (bruxism) is a common activity that can occur both during the day and at night.

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Varicella‐Zoster Disease (Shingles)

The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a member of the human herpes virus family and is responsible for causing chicken pox and shingles.

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Why Quitting Smoking is Important

Since 1964 when the Surgeon General of the United States released his report linking smoking to a wide range of respiratory diseases including cancer, Americans have known of the potential hazards of cigarette/ pipe use. Following that report, the rate of smoking in adults has gradually decreased from 42.4% in 1965, 20.9% in 2005, and 17.8% in 2013; 20.5% in men and 15.3% in women.. However, while we have made progress, there is still a great need to encourage tobacco cessation. We now know that smoking is responsible for many other diseases. Use of tobacco products has become the largest single preventable cause of death in America. Below is a brief discussion of some of the many links between smoking and systemic disease.

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Xerostomia

Dry mouth, usually called xerostomia (zeer-oh-stomia), is a common symptom most often caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva or a change in the quality of saliva. The exact number of people affected by dry mouth is unknown but it appears to be a common condition. Estimates range from 1% to 65%, depending on the types of patient populations studied.

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