Oral lesions, with or
without symptoms, are common among older adults using dental prostheses.
Oral cancer rates nearly triple between
the age groups of 55 to 64 years and 85 years and older.
Note any lesions on the tongue.
There may be age related atrophy with reduced papilla on the lingual
Check the oro-pharynx and the gingiva.
Identify any areas of a possible biopsy. You should decide if the
patient should be referred to a specialist.
Etiology: Long continued local irritation
or drug therapy with dilantin.
Description: Soft spongy and swollen tissue that may
display inflammatory exudates. Caused by anticonvulsant usage usually
in patients with less than ideal oral hygiene. Dilantin has been implicated
in the over growth of the marginal gingiva.
Treatment: Surgical excision,
electro cautery is useful in treatment. Good oral hygiene practices in
home care, plus regular dental cleaning.
(no image) The tongue and palate are favored locations for TB lesions.
The typical lesion is indurated, chronic, non-healing,
and ulcerated. These lesions are highly infectious.
Geriatric patients often report a history of TB,
and should be able to provide documentation of treatment. Patients
with active TB are a real danger to the dental treatment team. OSHA
guidelines help guide clinicians in safe practice patterns.