Clinicians understand that the oral cavity does not exist in isolation, but as an integral component of the human body. Moreover, the oral cavity often mirrors systemic health and may be the initial site of presentation of an underlying disease process. That disease may simply manifest in the oral cavity (eg, localized oral lichen planus) or may include the oral cavity in its manifestation (eg, glossitis related to malabsorption). The oral cavity may even provide a more accessible location for diagnosis of certain conditions (eg, Sjögren's syndrome). When a practitioner evaluates the oral cavity, he/she must be cognizant that local oral disease may be present or the oral condition may be a result of an underlying disorder.
In this series of Dental Clinics of North America, most of the common oral disorders are reviewed, including those that have an acute presentation and those that are of a chronic nature. All of our contributing authors have been carefully selected and are experts in their fields. Authors have provided general information, including epidemiology regarding a specific disorder, the known etiologies, and the presumed pathophysiology of that disorder. To focus on the clinical aspects of patient management, authors describe the clinical presentation and how clinicians should formulate a differential and/or final diagnosis. Finally, authors discuss treatment and management strategies, which may aid in providing comfort and/or cure to the patient’s ailment.