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General Practice

General Practice General Practice

Mouth disorders

In the same way that the skin protects the body from the external environment, the oral mucosa lines the entire mouth cavity protecting it from mechanical damage, germs and toxic substances. It also controls and regulates fluid and nutrient exchange with the external environment, enabling us to taste food and drink, and produces the mucous lubricating the mouth and saliva (through the salivary glands). There are situations where these functions are compromised, e.g. when a mouth sore occurs or when there is significant mouth dryness.

Mouth sores

A mouth sore or mouth ulcer, commonly known as an \"ulcer\", is a disruption of the physical continuity of this oral mucosa, i.e. a loss of tissue (wound). They can be very painful and often make speaking or eating difficult or impossible.

 

Virtually everybody has suffered or will suffer from mouth sores, and about 20% of those affected will suffer from recurrent sores, i.e. sores that will recur more or less regularly over time. They are more common in pre-adolescents, adolescents and young adults, and their incidence usually decreases over the years.

Mouth dryness

Mouth dryness, dry mouth or “xerostomy” is the subjective feeling whereby the patient feels dry mouth with or without reduction of normal salivary secretion. When the mouth is dry, it is difficult to speak, chew and swallow solid food, there is a need to drink water very often during meals, and there can even be a reduced sense of taste.

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