Oral Lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory disorder that happens inside the mouth. It generally appears as spots and as patches of streaks that are not usually painful. But in most severe cases, it can be the reason for sore areas around the mouth and also for mouth ulcers.
In this condition, certain beverages and food items should be avoided. To prevent painful symptoms follow an oral lichen planus diet that your medical practitioner asks you to follow.
Following are some of the foods that should be avoided if you are suffering from oral lichen planus to cure your suffering quickly.
American Institute of Dermatology stated that crispy foods trigger oral lichen planus specifically if your mouth has open sores. You may also need to avoid consuming crusty bread, toasts, pretzels, crackers, chips, crunchy foods, and crispy cookies. You can eat cereal with milk in your breakfast instead.
Caffeinated drinks and beverages elevate the oral lichen planus symptoms and also make it worse. You need to stop taking coffee, colas, green or black tea, and every drink that has caffeine in it.
Your mouth can be affected badly and it will also be painful if you eat hot foods or drink hot tea and coffee. It is suggested to wait until the food gets warm enough to consume without burning your mouth or avoid them.
Acidic, Spicy, and Citrus Foods
Acidic, spicy, and citrus foods and drinks can worsen oral lichen planus. In cases where your mouth is sore, avoid foods that are made with curry, ginger, garlic, chili peppers, and other spicy dishes. Citrus vegetables and fruits should also be avoided like tomatoes, limes, lemons, grapefruits, and oranges.
In most severe cases, people suffering from oral lichen planus may possess a slight risk of developing cancer in their mouth. That is why experts suggest not to use alcohol-containing beverages when you have oral issues. If you still choose to drink alcohol, it is recommended to keep the quantity moderate.
Symptoms of the oral lichen planus depend on the condition of mouth sores. The first occurrence can go through up to several weeks and months while reoccurrence can take up to years.
Once you are exposed to the oral lichen planus, reoccurrence of the symptoms will become common. Following are the common forms of oral lichen planus symptoms.
- White streaks start to appear inside the cheeks that affect lips, tongue, and gums as well.
- The white streaks take time to fully go away, sometimes they remain there for life.
- Blistering and possible redness of the gums
- Mouth ulcer and soreness develop and reoccur
- The suffers can have a dry mouth
- Crispy, Spicy foods and tomato sauces can make the symptoms worse
- The streaks that occur inside the cheeks are not much painful
- The sufferer may taste everything metallic or the taste may become blunt.
Your doctor would need to make a diagnosis based on:
- Discussion about your dental and medical history and the medication if you are taking any,
- Analyzing symptoms such as lesions of your mouth or at any other place of your body,
- Other than lesions, he or she may want to examine your mouth and areas where the symptoms may appear.
Your doctor may also request some lab tests, which includes:
Cultures: With the help of a cotton swab, a small sample of cells is taken to examine whether you have a fungal bacterial infection.
Biopsy: Similarly, a sample of small tissue is taken to examine under the microscope from the mouth lesions to analyze signs of oral lichen planus. Other microscopic tests may include immune system protein identification which generally is linked with oral lichen planus.
Blood tests: A blood test may be performed to examine the conditions like Hepatitis C, which can be the cause of oral lichen planus.
Oral lichen planus is one of the chronic conditions that have no cure, so the pain and discomfort can only be decreased through medications and certain treatments. It is necessary to consult your doctor in cases where symptoms get worse. Your doctor will closely monitor your tests and prescribe treatments or stop any previous treatment as needed.
But if your lesions are not causing any distress and you feel no pain, then you may not require to see the doctor or start any treatment. But if your symptoms are severe, you can opt for any of these options:
Many treatments can help lessen the pain and symptoms of oral lichen planus such as topical numbing agents. They provide relief to those areas of your body that are painful, but the numbness is temporary.
These treatments help in reducing inflammation caused due to oral lichen planus. You may be recommended to go through any of these forms:
Topical: The preferred method is applied through ointments, gel, or mouthwash directly on the mucous membrane.
Oral: For a specific time, corticosteroids are taken as a medication.
Injection: The medicine is injected into the mouth lesions.
Immune Response Medication
Medications that modify or suppress responses from the immune system of your body may help in lessening the pain and in improving severe lesions. These medications provide relief through these forms:
Topical gels and ointments: Calcineurin inhibitors are similar to drugs that prevent transplanted organs from rejections. These medications are taken orally and are effective in treating oral lichen planus. But an uncertain association with cancer has caused them a warning from the FDA in using these drugs. Some examples of these drugs include pimecrolimus (Elidel) and Tacrolimus(Protopic)
Systemic medication: In cases where oral lichen planus gets severe and involves other areas of your body such as genitalia or esophagus and scalp – systematic medications are used.
The use of topical steroids may cause an overgrowth of yeast in the esophagus. When you are on any of these treatments, schedule regular consultation with your doctor.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
In addition to dental treatment and medication, self-care measures will also help in reducing symptoms of oral lichen planus.
Keep an eye on your oral hygiene: Usage of bland toothpaste with regular flossing will help you prevent infections and oral diseases. Try to keep your mouth hygienically clean.
Look what you eat: Eliminate spices, crunchy, and crispy foods that trigger oral symptoms. Choose soft and mild foods that provide relief in your pain.
Keep stress manageable: Many times your symptoms get worse or the infection reoccurs due to the increase in stress levels.
Avoid irritants: Try not to use tobacco and alcohol. You should also avoid any activity that needs intense chewing that can cause chew of your cheek, lip or cause injury inside of your mouth.
Visit your doctor regularly: Even if you are not having any oral complications, visit your dentist twice a year to check and clean plaque and cavities if required. Ask your doctor for the next visit for cancer screening and evaluation of treatments if you are taking oral lichen planus medications.