Classification and Structure of Oral Mucosa
– Oral mucosa can be divided into three main categories based on function and histology: lining mucosa, alveolar mucosa, and masticatory mucosa.
– The oral mucosa consists of two layers: the surface stratified squamous epithelium and the deeper lamina propria.
– Keratinized oral mucosa has four layers: stratum basale, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, and stratum corneum.
– Nonkeratinized epithelium covers the soft palate, inner lips, inner cheeks, floor of the mouth, and ventral surface of the tongue.
– Keratinized squamous epithelium is present in the gingiva, hard palate, and areas of the dorsal surface of the tongue.

Functions of Oral Mucosa
– The oral mucosa fulfills several functions, including protection, support during mastication, mobility during chewing and talking, and secretion of saliva.
– Saliva, the primary secretion of the oral mucosa, has various functions such as pH buffering, lubrication, antimicrobial activity, and initial digestion of carbohydrates.
– The oral mucosa is richly innervated and involved in sensations, including taste perception.
– The oral mucosa is not significant in thermal regulation in humans.

Clinical Significance of Oral Mucosa
– Infective conditions in the oral mucosa are often caused by human herpes viruses and can present with different oral manifestations.
– Autoimmune conditions, hypersensitivity reactions, and traumatic conditions can affect the oral mucosa, leading to various oral lesions and disorders.
– Oral mucosal lesions can result from irritation, fibroma, epulides, papillary hyperplasia, oral thrush, and idiopathic conditions like recurrent apthous stomatitis.
– Benign soft tissue neoplasms and malignant neoplasms, including sarcomas, can also occur in the oral mucosa.

Related Topics
– Oral mucosa tissue engineering is an area of research focused on creating artificial oral mucosa for various applications.
Junctional epithelium, oral cancer, salivary glands, basal lamina, and fibroblasts are closely associated with the oral mucosa.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Importance of Oral Mucosa
– Diagnosis of oral mucosal disorders involves clinical examination and may require biopsy for histopathological evaluation.
– Treatment options for oral mucosal disorders depend on the specific condition and may include medications, topical agents, and good oral hygiene practices.
– Regular dental check-ups are important for detecting oral mucosal abnormalities early.
– The oral mucosa plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by acting as a barrier, producing saliva, and contributing to overall oral function.

Oral mucosa (Wikipedia)

The oral mucosa is the mucous membrane lining the inside of the mouth. It comprises stratified squamous epithelium, termed "oral epithelium", and an underlying connective tissue termed lamina propria. The oral cavity has sometimes been described as a mirror that reflects the health of the individual. Changes indicative of disease are seen as alterations in the oral mucosa lining the mouth, which can reveal systemic conditions, such as diabetes or vitamin deficiency, or the local effects of chronic tobacco or alcohol use. The oral mucosa tends to heal faster and with less scar formation compared to the skin. The underlying mechanism remains unknown, but research suggests that extracellular vesicles might be involved.

Oral mucosa
Latintunica mucosa oris
Anatomical terminology
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