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Dental Disorder Terms Listed Alphabetically

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | I | L | M | O | P | R | S | T | V

Diseases and disorders that damage the mouth and face can disturb well-being and self-esteem. The effect of oral health and disease on quality of life is a relatively new field of research that examines the functional, psychological, social, and economic consequences of oral disorders. Most of the research has focused on a few conditions: tooth loss, craniofacial birth defects, oral-facial pain, and oral cancer. The impact of oral health on an individual’s quality of life reflects complex social norms and cultural values, beliefs, and traditions. There is a long tradition of determining character on the basis of facial and head shapes. Although cultures differ in detail, there appear to be overall consistencies in the judgment of facial beauty and deformity that are learned early in life. Faces judged ugly have been associated with defects in character, intelligence, and morals.

The Impact of Craniofacial-Oral-Dental Conditions on Quality of Life:

Missing teeth

People who have many missing teeth face a diminished quality of life. Not only do they have to limit food choices because of chewing problems, which may result in nutritionally poor diets, but many feel a degree of embarrassment and self-consciousness that limits social interaction and communication.

Craniofacial birth defects

Children with cleft lip or cleft palate experience not only problems with eating, breathing, and speaking, but also have difficulties adjusting socially, which affects their learning and behavior. The tendency to “judge a book by its cover” persists in the world today and accounts for many of the psychosocial problems of persons affected by craniofacial birth defects.

Oral-facial pain

The craniofacial region is rich in nerve endings sensitive to painful stimuli, so it is not surprising that oral-facial pain, especially chronic pain conditions where the cause is not understood and control is inadequate, severely affects quality of life. Conditions such as temporomandibular (jaw joint) disorders, trigeminal neuralgia, and postherpetic neuralgia (chronic pain following an attack of shingles affecting facial nerves) can disrupt vital functions such as chewing, swallowing, and sleep; interfere with normal activities at home or work; and lead to social withdrawal and depression.

Oral Cancer

Surgical treatment for oral cancer may result in permanent disfigurement as well as functional limitations affecting speaking and eating. Given the poor prognosis for oral cancer (the five-year survival rate is only 52 percent), it is not surprising that depression is common in these patients.


Information and definitions of the medical conditions and diseases have been taken from various reliable government publications and we have done our best to verify their accuracy. If you feel any of the definitions are incorrect or needs to be updated please contact us and we will look into it.