|Local and systemic disease
Disorders of the lips, the mouth and the tongue may be local and due to infections or injuries, like canker sores, oral thrush, periodontal disease, tonsillitis, etc. But they may also be caused by systemic diseases like AIDS, diabetes, leukemia, and others. Some may be the result of bacteria and fungi. Others may be brought on by food allergies, especially where the organism is in a state of imbalance in terms of necessary vitamins, minerals, acidity and alkalinity.
The mouth cavity
Clearly, it is important to distinguish between disorders caused by systemic disease and these of local nature. This is particularly true where the mouth cavity is concerned. Often the first signs of systemic disease appear in the mouth and can be recognized there. Local disorders include salivary gland problems, bad breath caused by deteriorating hygiene of the mouth cavity, herpes infection of the gums and other parts of the mouth, a sudden but painless breakdown of the palate surface (necrotizing sialometaplasia), and others.
One problem of the lips is the change in size. The lips may swell because of a number of conditions, including allergic reactions to foods, medications, cosmetics, airborne or waterborne irritants, angioedema, steroid injections, sunburn, etc. Advancing age, on the other hand, may cause the lips to grow thinner. Cracks around the lips may signal lack of B vitamins. Brownish-black spots may indicate the Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, an inherited disease when polyps form in the stomach and intestines. While dryness and cracking of the lips and simultaneous reddening of the mouth lining may be an early warning sign of the Kawasaki syndrome, a mainly childhood disease most visible at the mouth, but which may involve more serious repercussions.
Traditionally, an older generation of physicians looked at the tongue as a principal diagnostic tool. This is because so many diseases first appear on or around the tongue. Thus, redness of the tongue may be a sign of pernicious anemia or vitamin deficiency. By contrast, iron deficiency anemia renders the tongue pale and smoother. A change to the color of strawberries and then raspberries may be the first sign of scarlet fever. A smooth red tongue and painful mouth cavity may indicate pellagra, a niacin deficiency. Tongue sores may show the presence of allergies, herpes, immune disorders, tuberculosis, or the early stages of syphilis. Painless sores, bumps or white areas on the sides of the tongue or the floor of the mouth may indicate cancer, and so on. You may understand perhaps why the old family physician asked his patients to stick out their tongues.
Our individualized program is designed to best deal with your specific problem through natural means, and in accordance with your gender, age, the present state of your health, medical history, hereditary predisposition, and other traits that distinguish you as an individual.