Geographic tongue is characterized by harmless lesions, or patches, that can suddenly materialize on the tongue's top surface. The condition gets its name from the physical appearance of the lesions, which resemble smooth, red islands, possibly rimmed with white. Their smoothness comes from the absence of the tiny bumps or “papillae” that normally cover the entire surface of the tongue. These variations in color and texture give the whole tongue a map-like appearance.
The pattern on the tongue can change daily as the lesions appear to move or migrate, healing in one spot only to reappear in another. That's why the medical term for this condition isbenign migratory glossitis. It's scary looking, but does not compromise a person's health.
Discomfort from the condition can sometimes be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers; mouthrinses containing anesthetics, antihistamines, or steroids; and by avoiding certain irritants such as tobacco, alcohol, and foods that are spicy, salty or acidic.
No one knows exactly what causes geographic tongue. Some factors that may play a role include vitamin B deficiency, irritation from alcohol or spicy foods, and genetics.
This condition can be diagnosed simply by examining your tongue; laboratory tests are usually not necessary. Geographic tongue normally resolves on its own, but a dental professional should be consulted if you notice any changes in your tongue's appearance.
Once porcelain veneers are bonded to your teeth, there is nothing that will whiten them. You can whiten your other teeth, but you won’t whiten the veneers.
Recent studies show that bleaching gels will penetrate teeth from behind. So if you have porcelain veneers on the front of the teeth, you can whiten the part of the tooth under the veneer. But the porcelain will not whiten. The result could be some very slight lightening of the color, depending on how translucent the porcelain is.
Your situation shows the importance of having your porcelain veneers done by an expert cosmetic dentist. These cosmetic dentists, who are passionate about appearance, will always suggest bleaching or whitening your teeth before they place porcelain veneers. Then they will match the porcelain veneers to your new whiter shade. They also know how to have porcelain veneers made to the degree of whiteness you desire, which general dentists often don’t know how to do.
Breathing out of your mouth may not seem like a huge problem, but in terms of oral health and facial development in children, mouth breathing can create some concerns for your dentist.
Signs and Symptoms
Before we discuss how mouth breathing can negatively affect your oral health, it’s important to mention some of the signs and symptoms of this potentially dangerous habit since many mouth breathers don’t even realize they’re doing it until serious issues develop. Some common signs and symptoms of being a mouth breather include:
Breathing out of the mouth is usually caused by Chronic nasal obstruction (CNO). When your body can’t get enough oxygen by breathing through your nose, it automatically resorts the only other thing that can supply your body with the oxygen it needs – your mouth.
This may lead to many oral health problems. Mouth breathing can quickly dry out the mouth and decrease saliva production. Saliva is extremely important for neutralizing acid and helping to wash away bacteria, without it, the chance of tooth decay and cavities increases. A dry mouth can also lead to bad breath and other serious concerns.
Dry mouth is one of the causes of gum disease, a dangerous oral health problem that can create health issues throughout your body including stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. In children, breathing from the mouth may lead to poor sleep, lower oxygen concentration in the blood, and facial deformities.
Since humans are designed to breathe through their noses, when they try to breathe out of their mouths, their posture has to change in order to keep the airway open. This may cause developmental problems, especially in children who are prone to mouth breathing. When a child is breathing from his or her mouth, they probably won’t identify a problem since it is their norm. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, the face can begin to grow long and narrow, the nose can become flat and the nostrils small, and the lips can be thin on top and quite pouty on the bottom. This, in addition to the other negative effects to oral health, shows that mouth breathing is a whole body problem and should be treated as early as possible.
Dr. James L. Johnson