When the mucous membranes within the mouth become inflamed a condition known as oral lichen planus occurs. The result of oral lichen planus is usually very painful and uncomfortable. Common symptoms of this condition are lacy, white patches or swollen, red tissue, and even open sores. This results in pain, burning, and an overall discomfort within the mouth. This is a chronic condition that requires immediate treatment.
Causes of Oral Lichen Planus
It is not 100% known what causes oral lichen planus to occur. However, there are certain factors that are known to trigger flare-ups of the condition, such as Hepatitis C, the Hepatitis B vaccine, and even certain flu vaccines. Other triggers can include allergens and allergic reactions to certain foods and substances. Certain medications can cause oral lichen planus to occur as well.
Symptoms of Oral Lichen Planus
There are numerous symptoms of oral lichen planus that can occur on the cheeks, gums, tongue, lips, throat, and esophagus. The lesions that appear from this condition can take on many appearances. The symptoms of oral lichen planus include raised patches within the mouth that appear white and lacy. The lesions can also be tender, red patches that are swollen. Open sores can also occur with this condition. Pain, discomfort, and a burning sensation are common; however, pain is less common with the white, lacy lesions.
Rare symptoms of oral lichen planus include a metallic taste in the mouth and dry mouth. It can become difficult to swallow and the mouth may become overly sensitive to hot and spicy foods. Bleeding is common while tooth brushing.
Treatment for Oral Lichen Planus
It is important to seek treatment for oral lichen planus because serious complications can occur, such as an increased risk for cancer and esophagus problems. Treatment for oral lichen planus can include the use of corticosteroids. These are used to reduce inflammation. Three types of corticosteroids can be used: topical, oral, and injections. Retinoid’s are also used because they don’t cause the same side effects as corticosteroids. Nonsteroidal ointments are used as well but are less common.
Treatment also includes learning how to prevent another oral lichen planus flare-up from occurring. To prevent this condition, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and keep regular dental check ups. Oral hygiene involves keeping the mouth clean to reduce infection by brushing and flossing the teeth twice daily. Prevention also includes adjusting your diet to eliminate spicy and acidic food, which have shown to worsen the symptoms of oral lichen planus.
“Lifestyle and Home Remedies” Mayoclinic.com
“Oral Lichen Planus” Emedicine.com
“Oral Lichen Planus” OralLichenPlanus.com