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Oral Health

Oral Fungal or Yeast Infections
These infections, the most common of which is candidiasis, appear as red or white lesions, flat or slightly raised, in the mouth. They are common among denture wearers and occur most often in people who are very young, elderly, or who have a problem with their immune system. People who have dry mouth syndrome are also likely to get oral yeast infections. This oral health problem can be prevented with good oral hygiene. If you wear dentures, clean and remove them at bedtime. Talk with your dentist or dental hygienist about medicines that may be helpful if you have a problem with these infections.
Dry Mouth Syndrome
This is common in many adults, especially as they age. It may make it hard to eat, swallow, taste, and speak. It happens when salivary glands fail to work right, often as a side effect from medicines or from other health problems. If this oral health problem is left untreated, it can lead to cavities, because saliva helps rid your mouth of bits of food and helps stop acid from forming plaque on your teeth.
Oral Cancer
Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40. This oral health problem is often found at later stages when it is harder to treat. This is because oral cancer is not usually painful, so you may not know you have it. In addition, many people do not visit their dentists often enough to find the cancer early.
The most common sites of oral cancer are on the tongue, lips, and floor of the mouth. Use of tobacco, especially when combined with alcohol, is the main cause of these cancers. Oral cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth. Other signs include:
  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A color change of the oral tissues
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small eroded area in or near the mouth
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
  • Problems chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way the teeth fit together.
Oral Problems From Cancer Therapies
Treatments like chemotherapy or radiation to the head and neck can cause dry mouth, tooth decay, painful mouth sores, and cracked, peeling lips.
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters
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