Archive for " October, 2012 "

Macroglossia Definition

Macroglossia refers to enlargement of the tongue which leads to functional and cosmetic problems. It is a relatively uncommon disorder and can be congenital (present from birth) or acquired (develops in life). Speech and swallowing requires normal tongue anatomy, position and function. Any deviation from the norm can therefore  cause difficulties in speech and swallowing reflex. Although the tongue size varies from person to person, it needs to be comfortably housed within the oral cavity without hampering specific functions for which is needed or utilized. In macroglossia, an enlarged tongue is technically a tongue that is bigger in size for the specific oral cavity.

Tooth Decay Definition

Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay, is one of the most common dental diseases affecting the general population. It is caused by microbes infiltrating tiny cavities that form in the hard outer surface of the teeth. The bacteria casing dental caries lead to various chemical reactions on the surface of the tooth and some of these reactions cause localized demineralization of the tooth structures. Dental caries can severely compromise the tooth structure and eventually lead to loss of the tooth.

What is jaw osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is an inflammatory condition of bone that begins from an infection within the bone cavity. The infection is generally bacterial in origin and is most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Osteomyelitis can affect any bone in the body but has a predilection towards long bones and the jaw bones. Osteomyelitis affecting jaws is generally associated with dental complications. It was once a very serious disease with life threatening complication but these days it can be adequately treated with prompt medical intervention.

What is colon cancer?

Colon cancer is the cancer affecting the colon, the major portion of the large bowel. Usually the rectum is also affected and therefore colon cancer is now more commonly referred to collectively as colorectal cancer. Common symptoms are long term passage of loose stool, constipation (change of bowel habit) and bloody stool. Like any other cancer, the cause of colon cancer is not very clear, but increasing age, lifestyle habits along with genetic abnormalities are the common factors held responsible. Colon cancers if diagnosed at an early stage, when still confined to the walls of the colon, are curable with surgery. More advanced cases, where the ccancer that has spread to other regions of the body, are managed with chemotherapy (drugs), radiation and surgery.

What are freckles?

Freckles are circular multiple brown spots usually seen in people with fair complexion. These spots are usually about the size of a pinhead and often occurs as multiple spots localized to one part of the face, or sometimes through the face and upper body. Although the cheeks are most commonly affected, freckles can occur on any part of the body and in particular the areas which are exposed to sun. The shoulders, upper chest and back and arms are also commonly affected. Freckles are not a rash but occur due to clustering of melanin (skin pigments) on the skin. They are harmless (apart from cosmetic problem) and do not become cancerous. Treatment options include retinoids, bleaching creams, chemical peels and laser treatments.

What is dandruff?

Dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) is a chronic skin condition characterized by itching and increased flaking (shedding of dead skin cells) from the scalp. Although seborrheic dermatitis can affect the skin on any part of the body, it is only known as dandruff when it occurs on the scalp. In babies, seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp is known as cradle cap. Dandruff is a common skin problem affecting people of any age group, sex or race. Most cases of dandruff can be easily managed with regular use of shampoo (non medicated and medicated). Complications are rare apart from the social embarrassment associated with the condition.

What is myofacial pain dysfunction syndrome?

Myofacial pain dysfunction syndrome is disorder characterized by unilateral pain referred from trigger points located in the muscle in the facial region. It should not be confused with myofascial pain syndrome which relates to triggers points that can occur anywhere in the body. It is one of the most common stress related orofacial pain disorder and most of the times it is mistaken for other disorders related to the temporomandibular joint. The disease is related to several contributing factors varying from muscular injuries to physiological stress.

Teeth Crowding Meaning

Crowding of the teeth is a common problem encountered at various stages of development of the teeth. The severity of crowding may vary depending on various factors. In general crowding of teeth is caused due discrepancies in the size of the jaws and size of the teeth. Larger sized teeth with small sized jaws to accommodate them, lead to clinical crowding of the teeth. Crowding may be present as a normal part of developing dentition and may be self correcting. Crowding when the permanent teeth erupts requires orthodontic attention.

What is hypodontia?

The first human teeth erupt around 6 months of age and are known as the milk teeth or deciduous teeth. It is then replaced by the permanent teeth later on in childhood. Sometimes this normal process is impaired where the teeth do not erupt at all. Hypodontia is condition characterized by failure of the formation of teeth. The disorder is of developmental origin and more commonly affects the permanent teeth rather than the deciduous teeth.

What is cholera?

Cholera is the bacterial infection of small bowel caused by Vibrio cholerae. Patients with cholera typically complain of excessive watery and frequent stool, often described as explosive diarrhea. Cholera occurs as a result of consuming water or food contaminated with the fecal material of cholera-infected person. Treatment is essential because if left untreated cholera patients may be life threatening due to dehydration. Oral rehydration solution is the mainstay of treatment along with antibiotics. In some serious cases intravenous fluid replacement may be necessary.