Lee Martin DMD

Garden City, GA Dentist Discusses Oral Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is a disease that affects the mouth or other areas of the body. It occurs most often in middle-aged women and is often difficult to diagnose. Here are some facts about this disease that might interest you.

Signs and Symptoms

There are several symptoms related to lichen planus. The most common are:

  • Patches of white in the lining of the mouth
  • Redness
  • Ulcers
  • Blistering on the white patches

While most times there is no pain involved, rarely some foods can aggravate the condition and cause sensitivity.

Causes

There is no known cause yet of lichen planus but it could be a response of a weakened immune system. It’s possible that it is also related to the use of certain medications or caused by an infection. 

Treatment

Generally, treatment is only needed when there is pain involved, which isn’t often. When treatment is required, it is done with a topical application of a corticosteroid cream. You would also want to avoid spicy foods or anything that has made the condition worse.

Most times oral lichen planus doesn’t go away. Patients continue to have patches in the mouth that aren’t painful. A small percentage of people who have lichen planus go on to experience oral cancers in the future. 

While there is no way to prevent oral lichen planus, there are things you can do to boost your oral health:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid large consumption of alcohol
  • Eat a balanced diet filled with fresh foods
  • Continue to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss your teeth and gums once a day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Visit the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning

If you notice anything unusual in your mouth, it should be checked by your Garden City, GA dentist. Even when the situation isn’t painful, it could be a sign of something more severe. Prevention of oral diseases is always better than treatment down the road, so take the time to care for your teeth and gums. Then, you have the best chance of having a healthy, vibrant smile for years to come. 

 

 

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