While many consider oral cancer rare, mouth cancer will be newly diagnosed in about 100 new individuals each day in the U.S. alone. A person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. If you add the subcategory of laryngeal cancers, the rates of occurrence (about 10,000 additional new cases per year) and death are significantly higher.
Every patient gets an oral cancer exam at their hygiene visit. Oral cancers have an 80 to 90% survival rate when found early. Unfortunately, at this time, the majority are found as late-stage cancers, which accounts for the high death rate of about 45% at five years from diagnosis and high treatment-related morbidity in survivors.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a complex, vexing condition in which a burning pain occurs that may involve your tongue, lips, or widespread areas of your mouth, without any apparent cause.
The disorder has been associated with various other conditions, including menopause, nutritional deficiencies, oral thrush and dry mouth (xerostomia), the side effect of medications, allergies, or even anxiety. Some researchers have suggested dysfunctional or damaged nerves as a possible cause.
Treating burning mouth syndrome is highly individualized and depends on your particular signs and symptoms, and the underlying cause or causes if they can be identified.
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a neuropathic disorder of facial nerves. It causes episodes of intense pain in any or all of the following: ear, eye, lips, nose, scalp, forehead, teeth, or jaw on one side of the face. An estimated 1 in 15,000 people suffer from trigeminal neuralgia, although the actual figure may be significantly higher due to frequent misdiagnosis. T.N. usually develops after 50, more commonly in females, although there have been cases with patients as young as three years of age.
T.N. can bring about stabbing, mind-numbing, electric shock-like pain from just a finger’s glance of the cheek or spontaneously without any stimulation by the patient.
An oral ulcer is an open sore inside the mouth caused by a break in the mucous membrane or the epithelium on the lips or surrounding the mouth. The types of oral ulcers are diverse, with many associated causes, including physical or chemical trauma, infection, medical conditions or medications, and cancer and allergy. Ulcers may be maintained by inflammation and secondary infection. Two common oral ulcers are aphthous ulcers (canker sores) and cold sores (fever blisters).
The oral cavity is like a window to the body because oral manifestations accompany many systemic diseases. Oral manifestations must be properly recognized if the patient is to receive an appropriate diagnosis and referral for treatment.
According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 24 million people have diabetes. Of that number, unfortunately, 5.7 million people are unaware that they have the disease. Diabetes can affect multiple body parts, including the kidneys, nerves, heart, and mouth.
Poorly controlled diabetic patients are at risk for numerous oral complications such as periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, infection, neuropathy, and poor healing. None of these complications are unique to diabetes. However, their presence may be an early clue to the possible presence of diabetes.