What is Restricting Full Mouth Opening?
Have you been experiencing a burning mouth, xerostomia (dry mouth), recurrent ulceration, stiffening of the mouth and lips, loss of hearing, decreased mouth opening and tongue protrusion, etc. lately? If the answer to three-four of these symptoms was ‘yes,’ then you should read this article to comprehend the term “Oral Submucous Fibrosis” in detail.
Introduction to Oral Submucous Fibrosis:
Oral Submucous fibrosis (OSMF) has traditionally been explained as “a chronic, insidious, scarring disease of the oral cavity, often with the involvement of the pharynx and the upper oesophagus.” It is a precancerous disorder and transforms into a malignant tumour in 1.5–15% of all reported cases.
Possible causes of Oral Submucous Fibrosis:
- Immunological diseases
- Extreme climatic conditions
- Prolonged deficiency to iron and vitamins in the diet
Symptoms to look out for:
- Xerostomia(Dry Mouth)
- Progressive ulcers
- Pain in the ear or deafness
- Nasal intonation of voice
- A budlike shrunken uvula
- Thinning and stiffening of the lips
- Hyper Colouration of the oral mucosa
- Dryness of the mouth and burning sensation (stomatopyrosis)
- Difficulty in mouth opening and tongue protrusion
When to visit the dentist?
Like any other chronic disease, Oral Submucous Fibrosis can be treated if detected at the onset, and the patient may resume an everyday life.
Treatment includes a range of approaches, from abstention from chewing areca(beetle)nut or tobacco to a dental surgeon rounding off sharp teeth and extracting third molars.
The degree of clinical intervention determines how patients with oral submucous fibrosis are treated. If the disease is caught early enough, quitting the habit is all that is needed. The majority of patients with oral submucous fibrosis have moderate-to-severe symptoms. Oral submucous fibrosis that is severe is permanent.
With the termination of the habit and mouth opening exercises, moderate oral submucous fibrosis may be reversed. With proper care, modern medical procedures will restore the mouth opening to regular minimum of 30 mm mouth opening levels.
Oral Submucous Fibrosis is a chronic disease. To avoid it you must immediately stop chewing tobacco, areca nut, or indulge in such malpractices. Oral Submucous Fibrosis can be treated if diagnosed early. On experiencing any symptoms mentioned in this article you must visit your dentist immediately