Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Measles May First Present in the Oral Cavity

A big thank you to the American Dental Association for a much needed reminder to professionals that measles often appear first in the mouth.

Many of us were given only a cursory training of the oral symptoms of measles since for all intents & purposes the disease had been eradicated in the U.S.  However, with many parents now opting to forgo immunization, we are now seeing the first large measles outbreaks in decades.

To help practitioners, the ADA sent out the following in Monday's ADA Morning Huddle email.  My hats off to the ADA for helping doctors help their patients!  Here is the info with a link:

The American Dental Association (3/2, Williams) reports that although “the first signs of measles occur typically in the head and neck region and in the oral cavity...some dentists may not have had the occasion to actually see these symptoms due to years of successful control of the disease.” American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry spokeswoman Dr. Catherine Flaitz “advises dentists to be prepared in the event a patient shows up with certain signs and symptoms of the disease,” adding that a parent may first seek care from a dentist due to the fact that measles first presents in the head and neck region. The three main signs in the oral cavity of measles are koplik spots, atypical gingivitis with pustules and necrosis, and operculitis.

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