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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lifestyle and Oral Lichen Planus

Due to two recent comments, I will post an update answering some specific questions posed

If you have read through previous postings, you will know that I have been dealing with an unrelenting case of Oral Lichen Planus. There are different degrees of the condition, everything from some lacy white designs on the inside of the cheeks to downright raw openings on the tongue, gums cheeks, throat, and occasionally the esophagus and lips. When the condition is this raw, like open sores, it is called Erosive Oral Lichen Planus. For some patients who have this, it can ebb and flow. There will be time periods where it will seem to disappear. Because of this, sometimes people think they are cured and occasionally attribute the new healthy looking mouth to whatever they were using to treat it.

For some patients OLP can be in remission for very long periods of time. I hope you, the reader, are in that category. Please don't think that what has happened to me will automatically happen to you.

I have not been so fortunate. One could question if I live a lifestyle of poor choices and suggest that is what contributes to my chronic OLP. So, for the record:

I don't drink alcohol.
I don't drink coffee.
I don't drink soda.
I don't smoke.
I don't partake or recreational drugs.
I don't eat spicy food.
I don't eat anything with cinnamon in it.
I don't eat anything with mint in it.

Note: It is challenging where the last two ingredients are concerned because so many things can contain them. Cinnamon and mint are supposed to be notorious for aggravating OLP, according to my oral medicine clinic doctors. And of course, I'm sure anyone reading this who had the diagnosis of OLP probably already knows spicy food doesn't help it. Even some of the mouth cleansing products that are supposed to be for people with mouth problems have mint in them!!!

From my own personal experiences, I have noticed that dry crunchy foods, such as chips, crackers, sometimes crackers, etc, aggravate my mouth. I couldn't understand it at first. Then it dawned on me one day when my mouth was doing really well. I was eating some tortilla chips. They are not a soft substance. In fact, they are very much like chomping on shards of glass! No wonder my mouth would be sore the next day.

I don't think that the original cause of OLP has anything to do with eating sharp edged food. I just think that when someone has a mouth that has been so much under attack, it is fragile and cannot handle food in the same way as other people can.

The picture below represents the lacy appearance of Oral Lichen Planus.

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