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Mouth Diseases

Skin sloughing inside mouth

06/15/2006

Question:

2nd request for info on this issue. Sloughing of skin inside mouth (cheeks) occurs periodically for several years now. Dentist has done complete check up and finds no problems but sloughing still occurs. While not painful it is annoying to have skin tissue loose in my mouth. I have not changed mouth wash, diet or anything unusual. I am 62 y.o. female. Do you recognize this problem?

Answer:

You may not have changed your mouthwash or toothpaste in the last several years, but it is entirely possible that their ingredients have changed.

What you describe sounds very much like what has been called "dentifrice-associated slough".  That is a fancy way of saying your toothpaste (or mouthwash) is causing your problem.  For most people, the offending agent is a detergent-like material that is often found in tartar-control or total/complete toothpaste formulas.

I recommend that you seek out a bland, old-fashioned paste (rather than a gel).  This can be tougher than it sounds and although I don't recommend any one in particular, the Biotene brand is widely available and has no harsh ingredients.  If this is the cause of the problem, you should notice a difference in 3-4 days.  If the sloughing continues, a visit to a specialist such as an oral maxillofacial surgeon or pathologist may be warranted.

Good luck!

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean of Dentistry Administration
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University