Profession-related Changes in the Oral Cavity

By Dr. Vishaal Bhat on Wednesday 12 December 2007 with 0 comments



These changes originate either by a direct action of a working environment on oral cavity mucous membranes, or they are a manifestation of general chronic intoxication. A variety of pathological states belong to this group, some of which allow patients to be financially compensated for them, since these diseases are classified as work-related according to present regulations.

1. Damages caused by a dusty environment.

Upon the exposure to soft flour or sugar powder, a heavy plaque is formed at teeth necks, circular caries occurs and marginal inflammations of the gingiva arise. Coal, stone or siliceous powders mixed with saliva of mine or quarry workers, form a kind of an abrasive paste that cause abrasion of teeth occlusal planes and edges. Metal powder originating during machining causes catarrhal and sometimes ulcerous inflammations of gums. Calcitic or cement dust acts both as a mechanical abrasive and chemically: the cheek mucosa coloration, even leukoplakias appear after a long exposure. The chemical or metallurgic industry workers are affected by changes of the hard dental tissues (the tooth enamel gets rough) or by cheek mucosa hyperkeratinosis.


2. Damages caused by general intoxication.

Changes that are a result of a general intoxication with heavy metal salts can also be found inside the oral cavity. Discoloration of the gingiva around teeth necks, caused by lead intoxication, is particularly known to occur at workers in lead foundries and lead paints manufacturing. Intoxication by mercury that is the most commonly used material for fillings in stomatology, appears not only at mercury plants workers but also at people working in dentistry. Mercury penetrates wall plasters and floor chinks at a dentist’s office. Mercury intoxication causes vague problems (trembling of arms and legs, headaches, irritability) that are difficult to explain for a long time. Ulcerous mucosa inflammations are often found after intoxication with zinc or chromium. Arsenic which is a part of devitalization preparations may cause local ulcerous changes of the gingiva if not applied properly; or osteitis if it penetrates through the apical foramen of the tooth root (single-root teeth, too long application of arsenic preparation in a carious cavity). Heavy metals intoxications are usually accompanied by an excessive salivation and taste ailments.

Category: Oral Medicine Notes

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