Oral medicine is the speciality of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis and non-surgical management of patients with chronic, recurrent and medically related disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region. Whilst some oral medicine conditions relate to problems in the mouth, symptoms are often chronic and can represent oral manifestations of more widespread disease.
The mouth can accurately reflect disorders of other parts of the body. Indeed, the mouth can often exhibit the first signs of diseases such as anaemia, disorders of the intestines, skin disorders, diabetes and defects of the immune system. As a result of these oral manifestations, such disorders can frequently be diagnosed at an early stage, which permits earlier treatment and often a better outcome for patients. The mouth is also sensitive to increased stress levels. The mouth, therefore, can be an extremely useful mirror to the rest of the body.
Within my oral medicine practice I care for patients with disorders of the mouth and face, which include:
- White and red patches
- Lumps and swellings
- Mouth ulcers
- Abnormal sensations of the mouth, including burning or scalding sensation (Burning Mouth Syndrome)
- Facial pain, including jaw (TMJ) problems, Trigeminal neuralgia, unexplained facial pain
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) and other salivary gland disorders
- Oral complications of general disease such as skin diseases (lichen planus or blistering disorders), musculoskeletal disorders (Sjogren’s Syndrome, lupus or Behcet’s disease), anaemias, nutritional deficiencies, diabetes and gastrointestinal disease (Crohn’s disease, Coeliac disease)
- Infectious diseases such as oral Candida (thrush), and viral infections including herpes (cold sores).
- Oral cancer and pre-cancer
- Adverse side effects of drugs and other materials on the mouth.