If you’re like most people, you visit your dentist every year for oral health care. You’re conscientious about caring for your teeth and take special pains to floss all the difficult-to-reach areas. During your last visit, you didn’t have any signs of cavities or gum disease, so why does your mouth hurt? There are many oral health conditions that aren’t commonly discussed during your dental visits. One example is oral lichen planus, an inflammatory condition that often makes its first appearance in the form of a white lacy pattern on the oral mucosa.
How Oral Lichen Planus Is Identified And Treated
Within our mouth can be found soft tissues that are essential to our oral health. Our mucous membranes are one such soft tissue that plays a central role in the health of our mouth. Known as the oral mucosa, these tissues can most prominently be found on our cheeks and lips. Oral lichen planus is a condition that commonly appears alongside autoimmune diseases. The first symptoms that appear are the visible white patterning on the cheeks and lips inside the mouth. A burning sensation often accompanies this lacy pattern.
Other symptoms that appear with oral lichen planus include:
- Feelings of dryness in the mouth
- Open ulcers and sores
- Red, inflamed tissues in the oral cavity
- Burning sensations
- The fine white lines or patches mentioned earlier
When experiencing unusual oral symptoms, it’s always a good time to visit our dental team. However, the above symptoms are associated with cases of oral lichen planus. Left unaddressed, the condition and its symptoms can worsen. While oral lichen planus cannot be cured, the symptoms that come with it can be effectively managed.
Treatments for oral lichen planus focus on ensuring the symptoms do not continue to advance. Further, the discomfort and pain associated with the condition are a primary focus for mitigation. It’s common for multiple approaches to treatment to be used. The most common ones include:
- Dietary habit changes, including avoiding spicy food
- Stress management techniques, including mindfulness and meditation
- Medications can control some symptoms
- Lifestyle changes
Those patients most likely to develop oral lichen planus are those living with autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes. Injuries, medications, and even oral infections can also serve as the initiating event. Some patients experience flare-ups of OLP due to food allergies. Stress is another major factor in managing the severity of the condition.
Contact Desert Pearl Dentistry To Learn More
The team at Desert Pearl Dentistry is dedicated to helping our patients experience exceptional dental care. Living with oral pain can be extremely debilitating and can impact our ability to speak easily and get proper nutrition. You can call our offices at (760) 568-0130 to take your first step at finding relief from your symptoms. When you see us at our location in Rancho Mirage, CA, we’ll start with a comprehensive dental exam. Following this exam, we’ll do a full consultation about our findings and your symptoms and start developing a treatment plan to address your oral health needs.