Mouth disease

Mouth disease
Mouth disease
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 K00-K14
ICD-9 520-529
MeSH D009057

Stomatognathic disease or mouth disease refers to the diseases of the mouth ("stoma") and jaw [1] ("gnath"). The etymology is similar to that of the term Gnathostomata. It is the term used by MeSH (along with the synonym dental diseases), but other organizations use different terms.

The mouth is an important organ with many different functions. It is also prone to a variety of medical and dental disorders.[2]

The American Dental Association uses the term oral and maxillofacial pathology, and describes it as "the specialty of dentistry and pathology which deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. It is a science that investigates the causes, processes and effects of these diseases."[3]

The World Health Organization uses the term "Diseases of oral cavity, salivary glands and jaws."[4]


Salivary gland diseases

There are both major and minor salivary gland in the mouth which secrete saliva and a variety of enzymes to help process foods and make swallowing easy. These salivary glands can get infected or inflamed and can also be very painful; sometimes the salivary glands also develop benign and malignant cancers.[5] However, the most common problem with salivary gland is formation of stones in the small ducts which prevent free flowing of saliva. The gland swells as they cannot empty and often get infected. While most stones in the duct may resolve, sometimes surgery and antibiotics are required.


Mumps of the salivary glands is a viral infection of the parotid glands. This results in painful swelling at the sides of the mouth in both adults and children. The infection is quite contagious. Today mumps is prevented by getting vaccinated in infancy. There is no specific treatment for mumps except for hydration and painkillers. Sometimes mumps can cause inflammation of the brain, testicular swelling or hearing loss.[6]

Bad breath

Bad breath (halitosis) has many causes including smoking, alcohol, poor care of dentures, gum disease, chronic lung disease, breathing through the mouth, sinusitis, liver disease, diabetes, pregnancy, not brushing or flossing on a regular basis. Medications that cause dryness in the mouth can also cause bad breath. These include antidepressants, anti histamines and antipsychotics. The best way to prevent bad breath is to brush teeth frequently, clean the tongue, keep the nose and sinus clean and drink adequate water. [7]

Canker sores

Canker sores are small ulcers that appear on the inside of the mouth, lips and on tongue. Most small canker sores disappear within 10–14 days. Canker sores are most common in young and middle aged individuals. Sometimes individuals with allergies are more prone to these sores. Besides an awkward sensation, these sores can also cause tingling or a burning sensation. Unlike herpes sores, canker sores are always found inside the mouth and are usually less painful. Good oral hygiene does help but sometime one may have to use a topical corticosteroid.[8]

Fungus infections

Candida is a very common infection of the mouth in immunocompromised individuals. Individuals who have undergone a transplant, HIV, cancer or use corticosteroids commonly develop candida of the mouth and oral cavity. Other risk factors are dentures and tongue piercing.[9] The typical signs are a white patch that may be associated with burning, soreness, irritation or a white cheesy like appearance. Once the diagnosis is made, candida can be treated with a variety of anti fungal drugs.[10]


Another very common disorder of the oral cavity is herpes simplex infection (HSV). This virus causes blisters and sores around the mouth and lips. HSV infections are not only annoying but also painful and may keep on recurring. Although many people get infected with the virus, only 10% actually develop the sores. The sores may last anywhere from 3–10 days and are very infectious. Some people have recurrences either in the same location or at a nearby site. Unless the individual has an impaired immune system, e.g., owing to HIV or cancer-related immune suppression,[11] recurrent infections tend to be mild in nature and may be brought on by stress, sun, menstrual periods, trauma or physical stress.[12]

Burning mouth

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a very painful annoying disorder that causes a sensation of burning on the lips, tongue, mouth and gums. The disorder can affect anyone but tends to occur most often in middle aged women. BMS has been linked to a variety of dental and medical disorders like menopause, dry mouth and allergies. Some individual develop one episode of BMS and others develop recurrent episodes which last months or years. Other features of this distressing disorder include anxiety, depression and social isolation. There is no cure for this disorder and treatment includes use of hydrating agents, pain medications, vitamin supplements or the usage of antidepressants.[13]

Geographic tongue and migratory stomatitis

The migratory stomatitis condition involves the tongue and other oral mucosa. The common migratory glossitis (geographic tongue) affects the anterior two thirds of the dorsal and lateral tongue mucosa of 1% to 2.5% of the population, with one report of up to 12.7% of the population. The tongue is often fissured, especially. in elderly individuals. In the American population, a lower prevalence was reported among Mexican Americans (compared with Caucasians and African Americans) and cigarette smokers. When other oral mucosa, beside the dorsal and lateral tongue, are involved, the term migratory stomatitis (or ectopic geographic tongue) is preferred. In this condition, lesions infrequently involve also the ventral tongue and buccal or labial mucosa. They are rarely reported on the soft palate and floor of the mouth.[14]


Oral cancer may occur on the lips, tongue, gums, floor of the mouth or inside the cheeks. The majority of cancers of the mouth are squamous cell carcinoma. Oral cancers are usually painless in the initial stages or may appear like an ulcer. Causes of oral cancer include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to sunlight (lip cancer), chewing tobacco, infection with the human Human papillomavirus and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.[15] The earlier the oral cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances for full recovery. If you have a suspicious mass or ulcer on the mouth which has been persistent, then you should always get a dentist to look at it. Diagnosis is usually made with a biopsy and the treatment depends on the exact type of cancer, where it is situated, and extent of spreading.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Mouth Disease Information Retrieved on 2010-02-01
  3. ^ " Dentistry Definitions". 
  4. ^ "ICD-10:". 
  5. ^ Recognizing Oral Disease World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Retrieved on 2010-02-01
  6. ^ What are Mumps Ministry of health and long term care portal. Retrieved on 2010-02-01
  7. ^ Oral Health from A to Z American Dental Association. Retrieved on 2010-02-01
  8. ^ Diseases of the Digestive System The oral cavity FAQ's Health Portal. Retrieved on 2010-02-01
  9. ^ Zadik Yehuda, Burnstein Saar, Derazne Estella, Sandler Vadim, Ianculovici Clariel, Halperin Tamar (March 2010). "Colonization of Candida: prevalence among tongue-pierced and non-pierced immunocompetent adults". Oral Dis 16 (2): 172–5. doi:10.1111/j.1601-0825.2009.01618.x. PMID 19732353. 
  10. ^ Women's Oral Health and Overall Health Colgate online portal. Retrieved on 2010-02-01
  11. ^ Elad S, Zadik Y, Hewson I, et al. (August 2010). "A systematic review of viral infections associated with oral involvement in cancer patients: a spotlight on Herpesviridea". Support Care Cancer 18 (8): 993–1006. doi:10.1007/s00520-010-0900-3. PMID 20544224. 
  12. ^ Herpes Guide: How do I know if I have herpes Canadian Herpes Information portal. Retrieved on 2010-02-01
  13. ^ Burning Mouth Syndrome American Academy of Family Physicians. Retrieved on 2010-02-01
  14. ^ Zadik Y, Drucker S, Pallmon S (Aug 2011). "Migratory stomatitis (ectopic geographic tongue) on the floor of the mouth". J Am Acad Dermatol 65 (2): 459–60. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2010.04.016. PMID 21763590. 
  15. ^ Elad S, Zadik Y, Zeevi I, et al. (December 2010). "Oral cancer in patients after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation: long-term follow-up suggests an increased risk for recurrence". Transplantation 90 (11): 1243–4. doi:10.1097/TP.0b013e3181f9caaa. PMID 21119507. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Foot-and-mouth disease — A highly infectious virus that can infect people but affects them most by infecting livestock cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. The virus is in the same family of viruses as those causing the common cold. The virus is spread by many routes by… …   Medical dictionary

  • foot-and-mouth disease — /foot n mowth /, Vet. Pathol. an acute, contagious, febrile disease of cattle, hogs, sheep, and other hoofed animals, caused by any of various rhinoviruses and characterized by vesicular eruptions in the mouth and about the hoofs, teats, and… …   Universalium

  • hoof-and-mouth disease — noun acute contagious disease of cloven footed animals marked by ulcers in the mouth and around the hoofs • Syn: ↑foot and mouth disease • Hypernyms: ↑animal disease * * * noun [noncount] : ↑foot and mouth disease * * * ˌhoof and ˈmouth disease 7 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hand-foot-and-mouth disease — A viral syndrome with a rash on the hands and feet and in the mouth. The internal rash (the enanthem) consists of blisters and little ulcers that may involve not only the lining of the mouth but also the gums, palate, and tongue. The external… …   Medical dictionary

  • foot-and-mouth disease — noun Date: 1862 an acute contagious febrile disease especially of cloven footed animals that is caused by serotypes of a picornavirus (species Foot and mouth disease virus of the genus Aphthovirus) and is marked by ulcerating vesicles in the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • foot-in-mouth disease — Informal (facetious). the habit of making inappropriate, insensitive, or imprudent statements. [1965 70; pun on FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE, with allusion to FOOT IN MOUTH] * * * foot in mouth disease, the habit or condition of saying tactless or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • foot-and-mouth disease — [foot′ n mouth′] n. an acute, highly contagious viral disease of cloven footed animals, characterized by fever and by blisters in the mouth and around the hoofs; hoof and mouth disease: it is sometimes transmitted to humans …   English World dictionary

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