Teeth problems may be many and varied. Some of the teeth problems handled by dentists are:
Most dentists handle general teeth and gum-related issues. Some dentists do specialty practice. Orthodontist is a specialist who straightens teeth by applying pressure to the teeth with braces and retainers. This is the largest practicing group in dentistry. Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are the next largest group and they operate of the mouth and jaws. Periodontist treats gums and bones supporting the teeth, prosthodontist replaces missing teeth with permanent fixtures, endodontist performs root canal therapy, and public health dentist promotes good dental health and prevents dental diseases in the community level. An oral pathologist studies oral diseases and oral and maxillofacial radiologist diagnoses diseases in the head and neck through the technique of imaging.
Angular Cheilitis is a condition in which one or both corners of the mouth develop cracks and sensitive sores and eventually get infected. The ends of the lips become dry, scaly and painful. The infection is caused by continuous exposure to the bacteria present in the saliva. The bacteria get accumulated in the cracks of the lips giving rise to infection. The infection may be caused by various microbes like bacteria, virus or fungi leading to Oral Thrush or candidiasis.
Signs and Symptoms
Initially, angular cheilitis will show up with mild symptoms, and if left untreated, turns chronic and causes severe discomfort. At the initial stage, Angular Cheilitis presents itself with the following symptoms:
As the condition worsens one may suffer from the following symptoms:
Angular Cheilitis causes
A single definitive cause is yet to be ascertained. Contributory factors are identified. Poor nutrition and infection score high as compared to other factors. One or combination of these factors is enough for bacteria or fungus in the mouth region to suddenly multiply and cause localized soreness.
Angular Cheilitis signs and symptoms
Treatment for angular cheilitis involves applying topical anti bacterial and anti fungi creams or ointments along with oral medication. Ointment with emollient properties is usually prescribed and depending upon the microbial infection antibiotics, antifungal, anti-viral and topical steroids are prescribed.
Angular cheilitis can also be treated at home with the help of easily available natural products. Aloe Vera, honey or fresh neem leaves have anti bacterial and anti fungi properties. They can be gently rubbed on the wounded area at frequent intervals. Applying salt water on affected region works well as the saline water inhibits the growth of bacteria and kills the existing microbes.
Appearance of Angular Cheilitis is often misconstrued to be an outcome of cold sore throat. It is actually a form of dermatitis, a type of skin infection. Typically, one or both the corners of the mouth have lesions making opening of the mouth highly painful. If left untreated, the lips can chap and the areas around the lips may start to peel off thereby worsening the condition.
A culture test to establish the bacteria, fungus or virus is required. A swab from the affected corner is taken and tested. Nutritional supplements containing Vitamin B12, folate and iron are suggested. Maintain good oral hygiene and avoid lip makeup till the condition improves.
A cosmetic dentist is a general dentist with an added dimension. Besides performing the functional requirements of a dentist, the cosmetic dentist pays close attention to the appearance of the dental work. Cosmetic dentistry is not generally taught in dental schools as part of the normal curriculum. A cosmetic dentist, in addition to qualifying as a dental graduate needs to pursue additional training after graduation and undergo specialist accredited training in the field. Cosmetic dentistry covers a multitude of procedures that improves the beauty and health of one's smile. Cosmetic dentistry can be as simple as re-contouring of one or more teeth or as comprehensive as an aesthetic and functional rehabilitation. Cosmetic dentistry can brighten a dull teeth, whiten stained teeth, close gaps between teeth, repair chipped teeth, mask metal fillings and straighten crooked teeth.
Techniques adopted by a cosmetic dentist
A cosmetic dentist adopts latest dental techniques to improve the treatment and reduce the 'chair time' of the patient. Some of the latest techniques are:
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Diseases, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment arranged in alphabetical order:
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 5, 2023