Oral Health

Allergic Reaction to Lipstick Tattoo

Some people develop allergic reactions to tattoo pigments -- especially red pigments. The woman in this picture developed an allergic reaction to the red pigment used in her cosmetic lipstick tattoo. Tissue injury and inflammatory reactions to dyes or metals into the skin can occur. Occasionally a contact dermatitis can happen.

Actinic Cheilitis

Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition that usually appears on the lower lips. Scaly patches or persistent dryness and cracking of the lips may be present. Actinic cheilitis may evolve into invasive squamous cell carcinoma if not treated.

Cold Sores Treatment

Currently, there are no cures or vaccines for cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Frequent hand washing will help reduce the spread of the virus to other parts of the body or to other people. Also, applying cool, moist compresses to the lesion may decrease pain and keep the lesion from drying and cracking. Most topical over-the-counter (OTC) products provide symptomatic relief only; they do not decrease healing time. Using topical anesthetics that contain benzocaine (5%-20%), lidocaine (0.5%-4%), tetracaine (2%), or dibucaine (0.25%-1%) will help relieve burning, itching, and pain. The most commonly recommended products are Lipactin gel and Zilactin. Treatment with prescription-strength medications such topical acyclovir (Zovirax 5% cream) or penciclovir (Denavir 1% cream) will reduce healing time by approximately half a day and decrease pain associated with the lesion. The current FDA-approved oral antiviral medications used in the treatment of herpes simplex virus in adults are acyclovir, valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir). Famciclovir has not been tested in children with cold sores. The medications are generally well tolerated with few side effects. Most common side effects include headache, nausea, and diarrhea.

Cold Sore Between Nose and Mouth

Can a cold sore appear somewhere other than your lip? They are not as common, but cold sores can appear anywhere on the face, including on the cheek, chin, or nose. Most people's cold sores reappear in the same area each time.

Cold Sore and Canker Sore

Cold sores and canker sores aren't the same. Cold sores usually appear on the lip; canker sores affect the inside of the mouth. Canker sores don't involve the herpes virus and aren't contagious. Their cause is unknown. Cold sores generally herald their arrival with a warning period of red, irritated skin. Blisters form, rupture, then crust over before healing.

Herpes Blister (Cold Sore)

Cold sores are small sores located on the face or in the mouth that causes pain, burning, or itching before bursting and crusting over. Common locations for cold sores are the lips, chin, cheeks, and nostrils. Cold sores more rarely appear on the gums and the roof of the mouth. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex type 1 virus, which lies dormant in the body and is reawakened by factors such as stress, sunburn, or fever from a wide range of infectious diseases, including colds. Sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) on the lips prevents recurrences of herpes due to sunburn. The virus is highly contagious when fever blisters are present. It is spread by physical contact, such as kissing. Also known as labial herpes, febrile herpes, and fever blister.

Tonsil Stones

Tonsil stones (also called tonsilloliths) form when bacteria and mucus get trapped and calcify in your tonsils' nooks and crannies, leaving a hard piece of matter and a bad taste in your throat. Although those bad smelling lumps can be uncomfortable, they usually are harmless.

Yeast Infections (Thrush in Babies)

Thrush is a yeast infection that causes white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. Thrush is most common in babies and older adults, but it can occur at any age.

Strep Throat

Strep infection often produces a distinct pattern of white patches in the throat and on the tonsils, as well as red swollen tonsils. Strep throat is treated using antibiotics, which kill the bacteria causing the infection.

Teeth Whitening

Many teeth-whitening systems are available, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, and trays, and whitening agents obtained from a dentist. Teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy, unrestored teeth (no fillings) and gums. Individuals with yellow tones to their teeth respond best.

Dental Makeover

A combination of dental techniques can be used to achieve a great smile. Porcelain veneers and crowns can correct crooked teeth, an uneven gum line, and other chipped, worn, and discolored dentistry. Cosmetic dentists can make a dramatic difference in a person's smile and overall oral health, but the work must be carefully planned.

Types of Braces

Metal braces are still used, but many other options are available. Brackets -- the parts that attach to each tooth -- can be clear, tooth-colored, or multi-colored. They can even be attached to the back of the tooth so they are out of view. There are even "invisible" braces that use a series of clear, plastic molds to gradually move the teeth into alignment.

Orthodontics (Braces)

Braces can correct crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, and can improve the health and appearance of anyone's smile, adult or child. Braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bony tooth changes shape as pressure is applied.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. The human jaw has changed in size over the course of evolution, and wisdom teeth are no longer needed, but they continue to erupt in many individuals. If the jaw is too small to accommodate them, they may cause pain or crowd other teeth out of position. The wisdom teeth may need to be surgically removed. Sometimes these teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they are misaligned and require removal.

Dental Bridge

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a false tooth/teeth in between. A cantilever bridge is used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. Maryland bonded bridges have plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework.

Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types are available -- complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.

Dental Implant

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots made of titanium. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Instead of individual crowns, some patients may have attachments on their implant that support a removable denture.

Composite Fillings

Existing fillings sometimes need to be replaced due to wear, chipping, or cracking. Many people use this opportunity to replace silver amalgam fillings with tooth-colored composites. Their reasons may be aesthetic or concern about amalgam fillings, which contain mercury. The American Dental Association asserts that the mercury in amalgam combines with other metals to render it safe for use in filling teeth.

Dental Crown

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth ‑‑ covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. The crown, when cemented into place, fully encases the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Enamel Reshaping

Recontouring or reshaping is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed or shaped to change a tooth's length, shape, or surface. The procedure is usually done to improve appearance by creating more harmony or balance in the look of the smile.

Dental Veneers

Veneers (sometimes called porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells that cover the front surface of teeth, changing their color, shape, size or length. Veneers can be made from porcelain or resin composite. Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth's color or shape compared to crowns, but the process is not reversible.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin is applied and hardened with a special light, ultimately "bonding" the material to the tooth to improve a person's smile. Among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures, bonding can repair chipped or cracked teeth, close gaps, change the shape of teeth, or be used as a cosmetic alternative to silver amalgam fillings.

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