Malaria has many different forms, symptoms and unfortunately, victims. Malaria has the potential to effect many aspects of your health, including physical health, mental health and oral health. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the effects of malaria on your oral health, as well as when to speak to your dentist in Glasgow.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a parasitic disease that is most commonly transmitted through the Anopheles’ mosquito. It generally gets passed around when a mosquito drinks the blood of an infected animal and then passes it on to humans by biting them and infecting them with the disease. Although not many mosquitoes actually carry the potentially deadly disease, the results can be devastating, especially in areas with poor healthcare and resources.
Many people are unaware that there are many different types of malaria. They are all different and some are more severe than others, some of the different types of malaria include;
- Plasmodium Malariae – mild, typically not fatal, requires treatment to avoid health problems, can stay in the blood for decades.
- Plasmodium Vivax – mild, not fatal, requires treatment or liver may relapse in years to come.
- Plasmodium Knowlesi – typically infects macaques but will also infect humans.
- Plasmodium Ovale – like Vivax but will linger for longer with no symptoms.
- Plasmodium Falciparum – most serious, extremely common in Africa and extremely fatal.
Effects of Malaria on Oral Health
The signs that you have malaria may stem from changes in your oral health. Some of the most common oral symptoms of malaria include;
- Tongue sticking to palate
- Oral dryness
- Difficulty with speech, swallowing and mastication
- Impaired taste
- Longing thirst
- Licking of lips
- Soreness and burning of the tongue and the mucosa
The person with symptoms is also likely to be producing less saliva and this can lead to other oral problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
If you have been to a country recently that is affected by malaria and have been experiencing these symptoms since you got back, book an appointment and speak to your dentist in Glasgow right away.
When to Speak to Your Dentist in Glasgow
You should speak to your doctor and dentist in Glasgow both before and after you travel to anywhere that puts you at risk of contracting malaria. Going before will help ensure that you know how to protect yourself and minimise the risk of contracting it. Going after will be able to help you determine if you have contracted anything. The thing with malaria is that the earlier you catch it, the more change you have of treating and surviving it. Some types of malaria can live inside your body for years without the patient noticing, so anything you can do to help detect it in the early stages is essential.