The mouth comprises the lips, tongue, oral cavity, palate , gum, teeth, bones (maxilla and mandible) and oropharynx which communicates with the throat. The various structures play an important role in :
- the sense of taste
- intake of food and drink
- breaking down solid food by chewing and grinding (mastication)
- speech (articulation)
Common Symptoms of Mouth Problems
A number of problems may affect the functioning of the mouth and result in a host of signs and symptoms.
- Dry mouth(xerostomia)
- Refer to causes of a dry mouth.
- Dry lips may arise for the same reasons as a dry mouth as saliva is used to lubricate the lips. This may result in cracking of the lips.
- Bad breath(halitosis)
- Pain in the mouth(stomatodynia)
- Bleeding from the mouth(stomatorrhagia)
- Altered sense of taste
- Ageusia is the loss of the ability to taste.
- Dysgeusia is impairment of the sense of taste.
- Cacogeusia is a bad taste in the mouth.
- Difficulty swallowing(dysphagia)
- Slurred speech(dysarthria)
- This is a result of impairment with articulation affecting the lips, muscles of the face and/or tongue.
- It may a result of a brain lesion as is seen with a stroke, neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease, muscular conditions as is seen with myasthenia gravis or due to dental problems like poorly fitting dentures or dental implants.
- Twitching of the Lips
- Refer to the causes of lip twitching.
- Altered Sensations of the Lips
- Refer to causes of tingling or numb lips.
- Mouth Lesions
Article reviewed by Dr. Greg. Last updated on August 27, 2012