Oral Medicine covers the treatment of diseases affecting the lining of the mouth, which may cause mouth pain. These include infections, mouth ulcers, blisters, white or red patches and oral pre-cancerous lesions.

Mouth ulcers occur when there is a break in the lining of the mouth. They affect one in five people at some stage in their lives and can make eating and talking difficult. Once the cause has been identified, there are many treatments, which can make the ulcers heal more quickly and reduce the pain. Sometimes a biopsy of the mouth is needed to confirm the type of mouth ulcer. This is a simple procedure, which can be carried out under local anaesthetic.

Oral pain is most commonly caused by teeth, but there are many other conditions that can cause pain in the mouth and face. Burning mouth syndrome and jaw (temporomandibular) joint pain are the two most common of these. As many pains in the mouth and face feel similar, it is important that a diagnosis of the cause of the pain is made.

Mouth cancer is an increasing problem in Ireland. The main risk factors are smoking and alcohol. Some conditions that affect the lining of the mouth can increase the risk of developing mouth cancer. Diagnosis of mouth cancer at an early stage allows effective treatment. Any white patch, red patch, lump or ulcer in the mouth that has been present for more than two weeks should be assessed as soon as possible. If there is any concern about an area of the mouth, a biopsy can easily be taken to check for mouth cancer.

Information on some common Oral Medicine conditions:

Mouth Ulcers

What are mouth ulcers?
Mouth ulcers occur when a part of the lining of the […]

Geographic tongue

Geographic tongue (also known as erythema migrans) is a common condition that most often […]

  • Oral Lichen Planus

Lichen Planus

What is lichen planus?
Lichen planus is a common inflammatory condition, that affects roughly two […]

  • dry-mouth_450x294

Dry Mouth

What causes mouth dryness?
Dry mouth is a common complaint, which affects people more often […]