We’ve all heard the importance of maintaining regular visits to our dentist to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. However, focusing on these two concerns undermines the importance of these visits. Your dentist specializes in the afflictions that occur on and around your oral cavity. When you maintain regular visits, they’ll notice things going awry before anyone else. One condition they specifically look for is Oral Lichen Planus, an inflammatory condition impacting the oral cavity. The Birch Point Dental Clinic team helps our patient family handle OLP and other conditions as part of our comprehensive dental care in Thunder Bay, ON.
Learning How To Identify Oral Lichen Planus
Oral lichen planus is relatively common as an oral health concern. This inflammatory condition impacts the mucous membranes in our mouth, causing swelling and soreness. The first step in identification and diagnosis is a physical exam during your oral healthcare visit. We carefully examine these tissues to look for the tell-tale symptoms that indicate OLP might be present.
Some of these symptoms include:
- Inflammation and redness
- Ulcers and open sores
- Discomfort and burning sensations
- Dry Mouth
- Taste anomalies, especially metallic tastes
- White patches and fine lines occurring in the mucus membranes
OLP is often seen alongside autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 diabetes and Sjogren’s Syndrome but can occur in their absence. Patients struggling with this condition are encouraged to monitor their intake of spicy food and foods high in acid. While this will mitigate the discomfort caused by the condition, it isn’t a cure. Oral lichen planus cannot be cured, but there are treatment approaches that can control the symptoms.
Treating oral lichen planus focuses on managing the condition’s symptoms and reducing the risk of complications. Topical numbing agents are a popular approach to care, as they are easy to apply and can be done so with precision. Corticosteroids are another common approach. This treatment helps to tackle the inflammation that occurs as part of this condition. In severe cases, it may be necessary to bring in immunosuppressants to soothe the immune system and stop it from attacking your tissues.
When left untreated, the risk of developing the following concerns increase:
- Nutritional deficiency
- Undesired weight loss
- Erosive lesions that leave scars
- Oral Cancer
- Secondary fungal infections, such as thrush.
- Anxiety and stress
It’s essential that you seek treatment for OLP as soon as you notice the symptoms. The earlier that mitigation treatments are used, the more responsive the condition can be.
Seek Help For Oral Lichen Planus With Us Today
Oral lichen planus may not be able to be cured, but treatment methods for controlling symptoms are easy and effective. When you’re experiencing symptoms like these, reach out to our dental team to arrange an appointment at (807) 698-8838, or visit our offices in Thunder Bay, ON, today! We’ll ensure you get the treatment you need to set your symptoms at ease and enjoy being unfettered by the symptoms of OLP.