Oral Lichen Planus: The Lesser-Known Condition Impacting Oral Health

Oral health often extends beyond the common concerns that most people know, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Many lesser-known conditions impact people worldwide, including oral lichen planus. This autoimmune disease affects the mucus membranes inside the mouth, and while it cannot be cured, it can be effectively managed. This informative guide will delve into oral lichen, its symptoms, and the available treatment options. 

Understanding Oral Lichen Planus: Its Symptoms and Treatments

Oral lichen planus is an autoimmune disorder that specifically affects the oral mucosa, the mucus membranes in the mouth. This condition often causes pain and discomfort along the inner lining of the mouth. Some of the notable symptoms associated with this condition include: 

  • Open sores or ulcers.
  • Burning sensations or discomfort in the mouth.
  • White patches or fine lines in the oral cavity.
  • Abnormal tastes.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Red or inflamed areas in the oral mucosa.

While there is no cure for oral lichen planus, several treatment options are available to alleviate its symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, then it is crucial to seek treatment from a qualified dentist who can provide appropriate care. Here are some of the treatment options commonly used to manage oral lichen planus: 

  • Topical Corticosteroids: Dentists may prescribe corticosteroid ointments, creams, or mouth rinses to reduce inflammation, redness, and discomfort associated with this condition. 
  • Systemic Corticosteroids: Unlike topical corticosteroids, these medications are taken orally and are often administered to help suppress the immune system’s activity with oral lichen planus. 
  • Immunosuppressants: Certain medications, such as cyclosporine and tacrolimus, can be prescribed to reduce activity in the immune system and help minimize oral lichen planus symptoms. 
  • Retinoids: These medications, derived from vitamin A, are used to normalize cell growth inside the mouth, which can act as an aid for immune system responses associated with this condition. 
  • Laser Therapy: In cases where medications cannot provide relief, laser therapy can help remove lacerations, white patches, and open sores inside the mouth to encourage the body to heal. 
  • Saliva Substitutes and Oral Moisturizers: As dry mouth is a common symptom of oral lichen planus, dentists may also provide saliva substitutes and oral moisturizers to alleviate dryness in the mouth. 

Each treatment approach will depend on the severity of your condition and the patient’s medical history. Your dentist will evaluate your specific condition and develop a personalized treatment plan. Your dentist will also provide regular follow-up appointments, and oral examinations will be conducted to monitor your condition.

Visit Southhill Comprehensive Dentistry For A Checkup Today!

At Southhill Comprehensive Dentistry, our dedicated team is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate oral health care. When you choose us as your oral health provider, you can rest assured that we will provide the highest level of care to ensure the longevity of your smile. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ulysses Vargas, please call (509) 747-8779 or visit our Spokane, WA clinic today!

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