Tuberculosis. Causes. Manifestations in relation to the oral cavity

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by the Koch bacillus.

Although it is a disease of remote origins and with very good results if treatment is instituted in the early stages of the disease, tuberculosis is still present in everyday life and can affect people of any age.

Contrary to popular belief, this disease does not only occur in those with poor social status and poor hygiene, it can affect anyone.

Koch’s bacillus is very easily transmitted, making tuberculosis look like an infectious disease.

The following methods can destroy the spores of this bacillus:

  • UV therapy

  • moist heat: in dentistry, sterilization machines for used instruments use moist heat.

  • These machines are called autoclaves and the spores of the bacillus Koch can be destroyed in this way.

  • After using the instruments, the doctor or nurse places them in a strong antiseptic product, and at the end of the working program they are placed in the autoclave.

  • The sterilization cycle takes about an hour and a half and the Koch bacillus is completely destroyed.

  • The risk of infection with this pathogen in the dental practice is zero if the protocol for storage and sterilization of contaminated instruments is followed.

  • Strong disinfectants such as formalin

  • Drugs with a direct bactericidal effect on the Koch bacillus

Once in the body, the pathogen is confined to the lungs and can either exert its destructive effect or remain dormant.

If the infected person is in very good health, the body will be able to fight the bacillus Koch and the patient will not show any symptoms.

However, radiologically, traces of healing will be present in the lungs in the form of white, calcified spots.

Tuberculosis of the oral cavity

This is a complication of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Untreated, the disease is transmitted by blood or lymph to other organs.

In the oral cavity, the disease has the following locations and forms:

  • in the tongue: initially appears as a nodular form. Painless but painful when chewing. Over time, the formation flattens and the center of the formation ulcerates, with the edges remaining raised. At this point, hard or spicy foods cause burning which is difficult for the patient to tolerate.

  • at the lip: initially some cracks appear, giving the lips a cracked appearance. The same appearance is also observed in the case of dehydration, which is why the patient does not become impatient. In advanced stages, the cracks deepen and become painful, similar to those on the tongue.

  • in the palatine vault: ulcerations may merge and extensive areas of tuberculous lesions appear

Tuberculosis in the oral cavity has a rapid and aggressive course.

While initially pain occurs only when chewing, in advanced stages the symptoms are spontaneous and the patient becomes unable to eat.

The general symptoms that should direct the patient to a personal physician are coughing, which does not subside, accompanied by blood clots, fever and altered general condition.

Sudden weight loss is a sign that should alert the patient.

Tuberculosis can also occur in young people who are in good health but are overworked and overstressed.

It is a treatable disease if identified and treated early, leaving no functional sequelae of any kind.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

It can affect different parts of the body, including the lungs, but can also affect other areas such as the lymph glands, kidneys and oral cavity.

The causes of tuberculosis are linked to infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It can be airborne, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, releasing airborne particles containing the bacillus into the air.

A person can develop TB after inhaling these particles.

Clinical signs of the disease

There are several manifestations of TB in relation to the oral cavity, including:

-ulcerations of the mouth or throat

-inflammation of the gums

-pain or discomfort when chewing or swallowing

-swelling of the lymph nodes around the throat

-weight loss

Differential diagnosis

Oral tuberculosis may be confused with other conditions of the oral cavity, such as stomatitis or mouth ulcers. Diagnosis can be made by laboratory tests such as sputum analysis or tuberculin testing, which measures a person’s immune system response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.


Oral TB treatment involves taking anti-TB drugs such as isoniazid, rifampicin and pyrazinamide for at least 6 months. It is important to continue treatment even when symptoms disappear to prevent the disease from recurring.

Preventing tuberculosis includes avoiding exposure to infected people as well as immunization with the BCG vaccine. It is important to discuss any suspected TB symptoms, including those affecting the oral cavity, with your doctor so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.

It is important to consider that in some cases TB may be drug resistant, so treatment may be more difficult and require a combination of different drugs. It may also be necessary to monitor drug resistance through laboratory tests during treatment.

In addition, it is important to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease to other people, as TB can be contagious. This may include wearing a mask while coughing or sneezing, as well as avoiding close contact with other people during the contagious period.

In summary, TB is an infectious disease that can affect the oral cavity as well as other parts of the body. Manifestations in relation to the oral cavity may include ulceration of the mouth or throat, inflammation of the gums, pain or discomfort when chewing or swallowing, swelling of the lymph nodes around the throat and weight loss.

Treatment involves taking anti-TB drugs as well as precautions to prevent the disease from spreading to other people. It is important to discuss any suspected symptoms of TB with your doctor to start treatment as soon as possible.

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