The tongue is a muscular organ associated with the function of taste and speech. It acts as an easily accessible organ for the assessment of health of an individual and shows the state of hydration of the body.It is said that tongue is the mirror of the gastrointestinal system and any abnormal functioning of the stomach and intestines will be reflected on the tongue.
Some characteristic changes occur in the tongue in some particular diseases.That is why the examination of the tongue is very essential and will give some clues for diagnosis.All doctors examine the tongue and they consider the changes in size,shape, color, moisture,coating, nature of papillae and movements.
Appearance of tongue in some abnormal conditions:-
1) Movements of the tongue:-
a) In one sided paralysis of the body(hemiplegia)tongue moves towards the paralyzed side when protruded.
b) Tremulus movement of the tongue is seen in diseases like thyrotoxicosis,delirium tremens and parkinsonisum.Tremor is also seen in nervous patients.
c) In progressive bulbar palsy there will be wasting and paralysis of the tongue with fibrillation.Eventually the tongue shrinks and lies without function in the floor of the mouth.This condition is associated with dribbling of saliva and loss of speech.
d) In chorea(involuntary rhythmic movements) the patient may not be able to keep the protruded tongue in mouth and may move involuntarily.
2) Moistness of the tongue:-
The moistness of the tongue gives some indication about the state of hydration of the body. Water volume depletion leads to peripheral circulatory failure with symptoms of weakness, thirst, restlessness, anorexia, nausea a vomiting, dry and parched tongue.
Dryness of the tongue is seen in following conditions.
b) Later stages of severe illness
c) Advanced uremia
d) Hypovolemic shock
e) Heat exhaustion
f Acute intestinal obstruction
h) Prolonged fasting.
3) Change in color of tongue:-
a) Central cyanosis :-
Cyanosis is the bluish discoloration of the mucus membrane due to decrease in the amount of oxygen in the blood.This is seen in heart and respiratory failure. In cyanosis the tongue and lips become a pale bluish color.
This is the yellowish discoloration of all mucus surfaces of the body (including tongue)due to increase of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice is seen in hepatitis,bile duct obstruction and increased destruction of RBCs.
c) Advanced uremia:-
This is the increase of urea and other nitrogenous waste products in the blood due to kidney failure. Here the tongue become brown in color.
d) Keto acidosis:-
This is the acidosis with accumulation of ketone bodies seen mainly in diabetes mellitus .Here the tongue become brown with a typical ketone smell from the mouth.
e) Riboflavin deficiency:-
Deficiency of this vitamin (vitamin B2) produces magenta color of the tongue with soreness and fissures of lips.
f) Niacin deficiency:-
Deficiency of niacin (vitamin B3)and some other B complex vitamins results in bright scarlet or beefy red tongue.
It is the decrease in hemoglobin percentage of the blood. In severe anemia the tongue becomes pale.
4) Coating on the tongue:-
a) Bad breath:-
The main cause for bad breath is formation of a pasty coating(bio film) on the tongue which lodges thousands of anaerobic bacteria resulting in the production of offensive gases. Those who complain about bad breath may have thick coating on the posterior part of the tongue.
b) Typhoid fever:-
In typhoid fever tongue becomes white coated like a fur.
It is a fungal infection which affects the mucus surfaces of the body.On the tongue there will be sloughing white lesions.
d) In diabetes and hypoadrenalism there will be sloughing white lesions.
e) Secondary syphilis:-
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted diseased caused by trepenoma pallidum infection.In secondary stage of this disease we can see mucous patches which are painless,smooth white opalescent plaques which can not be scraped off easily.
Here white keratotic patches are seen on the tongue and oral cavity.This is a precancerous condition.
It is the inflammation of the peritonium inner covering of abdominal cavity which also covers the intestines and keep them in position) in this condition there is white furring of the tongue.
h) Acute illness:-
Furring is also seen in some acute diseases.
These are small projections on the tongue associated with taste.There are different type of papillae on the healthy tongue.In some diseases there are some abnormal changes which are following.
a) Hairy tongue:-
This condition is due to elongation of papillae seen in poor oral hygiene ,general debility and indigestion.
b) Geographic tongue:-
Here irregular red and white patches appear on the tongue. These lesions looks like a geographic map.The exact cause is not known.
c) Median rhomboid glossitis:-
In this condition there is smooth nodular red area in the posterior mid line of the tongue.This is a congenital condition.
d) Nutritional deficiency:-
In nutrional deficiency there is glossitis(inflammation of tongue) leading to papillary hypertrophy followed by atrophy.
e) Benign migratory glossitis:-
It is an inflammatory condition of the tongue where multiple annular areas of papillae appear on the tongue which shift from area to area in few days.
f) Thiamine and riboflavin deficiency:-
Deficiency of these vitamins cause hypertrophied filiform and fungiform papillae.
g) Niacin and iron deficiency:-
In this condition there is atrophy of papillae.Smooth tongue is encountered in iron deficiency.
h) Vitamin A deficiency:-
This causes furrowed tongue.
i) In nutritional megaloblastic anemia tongue becomes smooth.
j) Folic acid deficiency:-
Here macrocytic megaloblastic anemia with glossitis is seen.
k) Cyano coblamine deficiency:-
Here glossitis with macrocytic megaloblastic anemia and peripheral neuropathy is encountered.
l) Scarlet fever;-
In this streptococcal infection there is bright red papillae standing out of a thick white fur ,later the white coat disappear leaving enlarged papillae on the bright red surface and is called strawberry tongue.
6) Ulcers on the tongue:--
a) Aphthous ulcer:-
These are round painful ulcers appear in stressed individuals frequently. May be associated with food allergy. Usual sites are tongue, lips,and oral mucosa
b) Herpes simplex:-
It is an acute vesicular eruptions produced by herpes simplex virus.When these vesicles rupture it forms ulcers.
c) Ulcer in cancer:-
Cancerous ulcers are having everted edges with hard base. Bleeding is also seen.Cancer of the tongue is common in tobacco chewers.
d) Syphilitic ulcers:-
Syphilitic fissures are longitudinal in direction.In primary syphilis extra genital chancre is seen on the tongue.In secondary syphilis multiple shallow ulcers are seen on the under surface and sides of the tongue.
e) Dental ulcers:-
These ulcers are produced by sharp edges of carious teeth.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Normally, this condition presents tooth pain after drinking cold liquid, eating hot or cold foods, or breathing cold air. If the pain becomes too much to bear, you should immediately see your dentist, as the nerve of your tooth could be exposed. Normally, sensitive teeth starts when the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. With the gums being a protective blanket, they cover and protect the teeth’s roots. When the gums recede and pull away, the roots have no protection, and therefore they will be exposed.
The exposed root tips contain small tubules that lead directly to the nerves of the teeth. Whenever pressure, hot, or cold elements travel down the tubules, it will trigger the nerves and result in pain. Those who don’t have sensitive teeth will have their gums covering the tubules, which prevents these types of things from happening.
The idea here is to stop tooth sensitivity and keep the gums healthy. If you reduce the pressure you use when brushing your teeth, you’ll find that your gums will remain healthy. When taught to brush their teeth, most people are instructed to use a lot of force. While this can get the teeth clean, it will also tear at the gums, which can lead to sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth now, you should try using an electric toothbrush such as the Sonicare advanced.
Although you may have sensitive teeth now, there are ways you can help to improve your gums and your teeth. There are several toothpastes out there on the market that contain potassium nitrate, which helps to reduce pain and discomfort associated with sensitivity. Although there are several toothpastes to choose from, Sensodyne is the preferred. It’s recommended by dentists as being the best, simply because it affects the nerve of the tooth and stops the pain where it starts.
Mouthwash can also help tooth sensitivity, providing it contains fluoride. You can also ask your dentist which mouthwash he recommends, as there are several to choose from. Scope is a great brand to use, as it offers you plenty of fluoride without any alcohol. Unlike Listerine, Scope won’t burn your mouth when you use it. It will leave you with a clean feeling, and get your mouth and teeth completely clean - killing millions of bacteria.
If you start using fluoride toothpaste such as Sensodyne and mouthwash, you’ll notice a bit improvement in your teeth and gums. The sensitivity will begin going away, giving you almost immediate relief. When you brush, make sure you brush gently, and avoid using any type of force, as it will always cause your gums to recede again.
In the event that using Sensodyne and fluoride mouthwash doesn’t help, you should ask your dentist about other options available to you. Your dentist will know what will help you, so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask. Your dentist will know how to eliminate your sensitivity once and for all, and how to prevent it from coming back. Tooth sensitivity is something that many of us have to deal with - although there are ways that you can fight back and prevent the pain and discomfort associated with sensitivity from making your life harder than it has to be.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The benefits of dental insurance coverage have been further stressed upon by the popular icons on the television, who always seem to have flashing white flawless teeth. These teeth are a result of care, expensive dental care and thus need for expensive group dental insurance plans provided by insurance companies that reducing in number by the day.
Dental Insurance plans, as a part of employment package have also increased in popularity. So big companies, to recruit and retain their employees cannot do away with these plans; at the same time have to watch the cost going upward. A Catch 22 decision is awaited.
Always research different plans and remember that discounted dental plans can be as effective as dental insurance without the monthly cost. Dental plans offer a one time fee with yearly benefits.
Group dental insurance plans have been growing rapidly placed in the niche market of employee benefit programs. A few years back, dental insurance was a non-descript part of employee benefit programs and very simple to plan and execute. Most plans used were for full coverage of preventive care and cleaning, 80% coverage for basic restoration and 50% coverage for major restorative services like crowns and bridges. Despite advice many employees never visited their dentists resulting in the overall cost of insurance being low and stable compared to general health benefit plans which rose year after year. For many years dental insurance was a simple rider for employers who took it major plans from big insurance companies.
The last few years saw a spurt in television advertising and as the smiles brightened on the idiot box, the importance of whiter smiles and straighter teeth became apparent and people started taking more interest in dental care. This in turn saw a spurt in rise of dental insurance premiums almost at the rate of 7-10% a year. This rate is significant and big employers started looking at it with a bigger eye. This tells on the bottom-line of the company since the employee benefit expenses are going up due to this rise. The dental insurance costs about 10% of the total employee benefits for a corporate today. So the rise in premium year after year, pushes the total employee benefit expenses 1% higher year after year.
"Employers aren't paying that much attention yet, but considering the way dental plans are evolving, they should," says Donald S. Mayes, dental plan auditor and consultant from
. Hershey, Pennsylvania
Always research different plans and remember that discounted dental plans can be as effective as dental insurance without the monthly cost. Dental plans offer a one time fee with yearly benefits.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Gingivitis is known as inflammation in the tissues of the gums. If plaque and tartar build up along the gum line, the gums will eventually get swollen and irritated. Over time, the gums will get very tender and start to appear puffy. When you brush your teeth, you’ll notice that your gums have become very sore and they will start to bleed with little to no pressure. If you notice blood when brushing, chances are you have gingivitis. Anytime you brush your teeth or floss, there should never be any sign of blood.
During this stage of gingivitis, there is no loss of bone structure. You can help to prevent gingivitis though, through flossing and brushing a few times a day. If you have gingivitis and you don’t do something about it, it could lead to periodontal disease. Those who don’t treat gingivitis or those who keep poor oral hygiene habits, will normally end up with periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is a condition in which the bone and surrounding structures are destroyed. Even though this form of mouth disease cannot be reversed, you can put a stop to it’s progression by going to your dentist on a regular basis and brushing your teeth a few times day. Periodontal disease is a serious condition, which is why you should always try to stop the progression or even better - never let your gums and teeth get this bad.
If you don’t do something about the progression of periodontal disease, the condition will continue to get worse. During the early stages of the disease, you’ll notice that your gums appear to be bright red, and very sore. This is due to the plaque building up below the gum line. When left untreated, the plaque and tartar that is below the gums will continue to eat at the teeth.
Keep in mind that plaque doesn’t need to be visible or detected in order for periodontal disease to be diagnosed. To determine if you have periodontal disease, you’ll need to have your dentist examine you on a regular basis. Your dentist can perform tests on your gums and your teeth, to determine if you have it. If you do have periodontal disease, your dentist can tell you how to stop the progression and prevent things from getting any worse than they already are.
Both periodontal disease and gingivitis aren’t normally painful and both tend to progress in a slow fashion. Although you may not be aware that you have either of the two at first, the symptoms and signs will start to show in the later stages. Once the later stages have started to progress, you’ll normally end up losing the tooth.
To be on the safe side and protect your teeth and your gums, you should always go to the dentist for your regular checkups and cleaning. If you catch it in time, your dentist will be able to help you treat the earlier stages of gum disease. You don’t want to wait until it is too late, as the more advanced stages of gum disease can completely destroy your teeth and gums. At late stages there isn't much your dentist can do to save your teeth.
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Friday, April 19, 2013
Tooth discoloration should not be taken lightly though the case should really lighten to brighten up a smile.
There are many reasons why teeth get stained. The most typical reasons vary from factors written below:
2. consumption of staining substances (such as tea, coffee, and colas)
3. excessive fluoride and use of abrasives (which only expose dentin and causes severe discoloration)*
4. tetracycline (antibiotic) staining
5. old fillings
Toothpastes that have whitening agents can minimize the stain that is on the surface of the teeth. The case is also coined by dentists as extrinsic staining. However, professional dental cleanings and whitening toothpastes will not change the intrinsic staining of the teeth, if used appropriately. This is the main reason why tooth bleaching or tooth whitening is so popular.
Normally, teeth whitening remedies are put into 2 categories
1. Professional whitening systems
This is usually performed by dentists using whitening gels and lasers to activate the solution. This is normally done inside a dental clinic.
2. Home-based teeth whitening remedy
This could either be done in-between appointments of professional treatments using whitening kits and tray-based whitening techniques or are just home-made remedies from kitchen and medicine items. These applications are usually done at home and according to the frequency suggested by dentists and/or by a product’s instructions.
Just how is tray-based teeth whitening technique employed to the patient? Read on the following four-step procedure:
1. A whitening gel is poured all over a tray that just fits over the teeth of the patient.
2. The active ingredient inside the gel, carbamide peroxide will be broken down sp that oxygen can enter the enamel to bleach the discolored areas.
3. By this, the physical structure of each tooth is not actually transformed. Crowns, fillings, and Bonding will not lighten but the colored substances will.
4. Casts or impressions of the tray are customized by dentists. The accuracy of the trays is critical to the treatment
Below are follow-up questions most patients are curious about tray teeth whitening method.
How safe is the method?
Most dentists agree that tray bleaching or whitening is relatively safe, fast, provides easy ways to lighten teeth between two and five shades in a matter of few days.
How is this different from other professional whitening systems?
Below is a list of some professional whitening products dentists in choosing items for their professional whitening system. The kind of bleaching laser or light is enclosed in parentheses.
1. BriteSmile (gas plasma light/light emitting diode)
2. LaserSmile (a Biolase laser)
3. LumaArch (halogen light)
4. Rembrandt Sapphire (plasma arc light)
5. Zoom! (metal halide light)
Generally, laser treatment is done by applying a 35% Hydrogen Peroxide gel-based solution on the teeth of the patient. After applying the solution on the surface of the teeth, a light is held several inches away from the patient’s mouth to activate the peroxide component of the gel. There are manufacturers and dentists who advertise that this method works better than tray whitening method. There are no actual data completed to support their claims.
Actually, after a year of usual lifestyle habits (drinking tea, colas, coffee, smoking, etc.) treatments using laser-accompanied whitening gel are disregarded. This will cost you another $ 500 or more to have the same treatment again.
However, with the custom-made “mouthpieces”, you can have your usual lifestyle habits for a year and perform touch-ups one day roughly alternately every 3-6 months to take off the new stain inexpensively.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
What are discount Dental Plans?
In general Dental plans are a low cost alternative to dental insurance. Dental care services become more affordable with discount dental plans for families in the lower income bracket. A dental plan is a kind of a club you join where we have a section of providers and consumers. In a discounted dental plan, the providers have agreed to provide the services at a discounted rate. As a consumer, one just has to display his or her membership card while visiting the provider. These discounted dental plans do not purport to insurance in any way, they are just discount programs.
Choosing a Dental Plan
While taking a decision on a discounted dental plan, it is important to be fully informed so that one can make a confident decision. The internet would be great tool to search for various plans in your area and compare them. Keeping the cost and benefits offered in mind, an informed decision can be made against the backdrop of your needs. Joining or enrolling in any of these plans is easy and quick; you just have to pay the fee using your credit card or electronic check and get the package online, in a matter of minutes. Many of these packages come with a 30 day money back guarantee, which means if you are not satisfied with the package or services, you can get your money back within 30 days without any questions being asked.
Many discounted dental plans offer ways to save on more than dental care, offering discounts on pharmacy prescriptions, vision etc. Keep these in mind while comparing the plans.
Using your discounted Dental plan
After you join a discounted dental plan you can start using the plan immediately without any waiting period. Benefits for most discounted dental plans are activated within 48 hours from enrolling.
When you use the discounted dental plan, make sure you call the empanelled provider dentist for an appointment. When you reach the dentist to keep your appointment, make sure you show the discount dental plan card to the receptionist to avoid confusion, it will ensure that you are charged the discounted rate in the first place.
The payment at the discounted rate is to be made at the time of taking the service. There are no hassles of paperwork and claims as in insurance plans.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Dental plans and Dental insurance...what are the differences ??
Dental coverage is normally not underwritten by insurance companies because the treatment and medication of dental needs are predictable and follow a time table. No individual would opt for a dental insurance plan if he were to pay more in premium than in annual dental charges, and the insurance company would lose money if they pay more in claims than the premium collected for each policy they underwrite.
Despite these drawbacks, some companies offer dental benefits by group discount schemes. These are also called discounted dental plans or affordable dental plans. These are a kind of “clubs” where membership costs a little money monthly or annually where the members can avail of dental services at a discounted rate. The dental service providers or dentists affiliated to these “clubs” have agreed to provide dental services at a discounted rate. The payment is made directly by the patient to the dentist, no paperwork or claims or future hassles. These “clubs” only do matchmaking between the patient and the dentist, earning money in the process. The dentist in turns gains to earn due to larger volumes of work. The patient gets the service at a discounted rate. It’s a WIN-WIN for all parties involved.
Dental Insurance when offered is again a complicated issue. The insurance company generally stresses upon background checks and pre-existing conditions. After this goes through you have to wait out until the coverage starts. When the treatment is actually undergone, a lot of paperwork regarding claims, %age exclusions etc. come to the fore where it becomes more of a pain to actually undergo and finish the process of reimbursement.
However insurance has its own benefits and plans have their own. A lot of employers also provide dental insurance whereupon the need for plans ceases for the individual. It’s for the individual to decide between the two as per their requirement, needs and current situation.