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J Am Dent Assoc. 2017 Oct;148(10):767-771. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2017.02.053. Epub 2017 Apr 5.

Garlic burn of the oral mucosa: A case report and review of self-treatment chemical burns.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW:

Inappropriate self-treatment with topically applied therapeutic or nontherapeutic agents frequently results in mucosal burns. Although such chemical burns typically are associated with misuse of analgesics, investigators also have reported them in conjunction with topical application of a variety of other agents.

CASE DESCRIPTION:

The authors report an unusual case of a 49-year-old man seeking care for maxillary tooth pain who had an oral mucosal burn of the maxillary vestibule caused by topical application of crushed raw garlic. The patient believed this treatment would alleviate his dental pain. Localized tissue necrosis was visible at the site of application. The authors instructed the patient to cease self-treatment with raw garlic but deemed treatment was otherwise unnecessary. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the second reported case of a garlic burn of the oral mucosa. The authors discuss the history of garlic as a naturopathic remedy, as well as the development of chemical burns associated with its topical use. The authors also review the literature on chemical burns caused by inappropriate self-treatment.

CONCLUSIONS AND PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Dentists should consider the possibility of an oral chemical burn when a patient has a destructive or necrotic mucosal lesion located near a painful tooth. In this report, the authors highlight the importance of obtaining a detailed clinical history to establish a proper diagnosis and proper patient education to prevent future mucosal injury from inappropriate self-treatment. Awareness and early recognition of this condition also will help diminish the probability of overtreatment.

KEYWORDS:

Garlic burn; chemical burn; inappropriate self-treatment

PMID:
28390650
DOI:
10.1016/j.adaj.2017.02.053

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