Neglect: Result of the lack of proper oral
Salivary glands secrete about 1,500 ml of saliva on
a daily basis. Microscopic counts in saliva show an
average of 750 million micro-organisms per milliliter.
Because the temperature in the oral cavity is around
98.6° Fahrenheit, the mouth is the perfect environment
for micro-organisms to live. Micro-organisms have a
dark, moist, warm area, and a good source of food
supply to live. These micro-organisms can be divided
into four major classifications-bacteria, protozoa,
viruses, and fungiwhich will be discussed in chapter
9, "Infection Control."
Oral lesions can be defined as any pathological or
traumatic disorder of tissue that creates a loss of
function of the area affected. They can include
wounds, sores, and any other tissue damage resulting
from disease or injury.
Many types of lesions can
occur in the mouth. The location of the lesion can
assist in determining the type.
LESIONS BELOW THE SURFACE
The types of lesions that extend below the surface
of the mucosa and are the most common in oral
pathology are the following:
AbscessA localized collection of pus in a
specific area of soft tissue or bone. Often it is
confined in a particular space, and is commonly
caused by a bacterial infection.
CystAn enclosed pouch or sac that contains
fluid or semisolid material.
UlcersA disruption of the superficial
covering of the mucosa or skin. May be caused
by biting, denture irritation, toothbrush injury,
viruses or other irritants.
Numerous types of lesions are above the surface of
the mucosa. Two of the most common are discussed
VesiclesA small elevation that contains fluid.
Most of these lesions in the oral cavity rupture,
leaving superficial ulcers.
Hematoma A localized collection of blood
that escaped from blood vessels due to trauma. It
is well-defined and with time, changes to a dark
Two common lesions of the oral mucosa in this
category are as follows:
purplish-red spots, caused by mucosal or dermal
EcchymosesLarge, purplish-red areas caused
by blood under the skin or mucosa; turns to a
blue or yellow color.
DISEASES OF THE TEETH
Teeth become diseased for many reasons. We will
look at some of the more common diseases found in
teeth such as impaction, attrition, abrasion, erosion,
resorption, and dental caries.
An impaction (fig. 5-2) is the condition in which a
tooth is blocked by a physical barrier, usually teeth or
bone. A tooth may not erupt in the normal time period
if an impaction occurs. Some of the causes of impacted
Movement of the erupting tooth into a
horizontal, vertical, or other abnormal position.
Early loss of deciduous teeth.
Insufficient jaw space, abnormally large tooth
crowns, supernumerary or other teeth in a dental
ABRASION AND ATTRITION
Attrition (fig. 5-3) is the loss of substance of a tooth
from a wearing away process caused by teeth against
teeth. Whereas, abrasion results in the loss of tooth
structure secondary to the action of external agents.
In attrition, wear involves aspects on the incisal,
occlusal, and interproximal surfaces of the teeth and is
considered a normal or gradual loss of tooth substance
because of the mastication of food. Causes of occlusal
attrition can result from bruxism (grinding of teeth),
chewing of tobacco or gum, or other oral habits that
In abrasion, one or more teeth may show wear,
generally brought about by improper toothbrushing,