Knoxville Dentist Relates Dentistry to Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can be a difficult disease to identify. With a varying list of symptoms, this tick transmitted ailment often mimics other diseases. Many patients even report dental problems in association with this chronic infection. Your Knoxville dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach will explain how your dentist might be able to assist in the diagnosis of…

Lyme disease can be a difficult disease to identify. With a varying list of symptoms, this tick transmitted ailment often mimics other diseases. Many patients even report dental problems in association with this chronic infection. Your Knoxville dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach will explain how your dentist might be able to assist in the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Definition of Lyme Disease

As previously mentioned, tick bites are the way that the bacterial infection of Lyme disease is usually transmitted to people. The discovery of Lyme disease began in 1975. There was a surge of children diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, in Lyme, Conn, and nearby towns. Eventually, a connection to bites from the deer ticks that populated the nearby woods, was discovered. Doctors found that a course of antibiotics taken immediately after the bite was sustained could potentially halt Lyme disease. Unfortunately, deer ticks are tiny, so many bites go undetected until long after the initial window of time for optimal treatment expires. Once you are symptomatic, the infection is much more difficult to stop.

What are the Symptoms?

Along with the aforementioned dental symptoms, one of the telltale signs of Lyme disease is erythema migraines which is a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye. Painful and swollen joints (often mistaken for arthritis) can begin several weeks after infection starts. Other symptoms can include stiff neck, severe headaches, Bell’s palsy, numbness, weakness in the limbs, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating. In rare cases, heart problems and severe fatigue have been recorded. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) studied 120 Lyme disease patients to find that 75% had pain in their jaw when they chewed, 72% had pain in the jaw joint, and 25% reported having burning sensation in their mouth.

Visit your Knoxville Dentist

Are you concerned with your dental health? Visit your Knoxville dentist. You can reach us by calling our 37919 dentist office at 865-584-8630. We welcome patients from Knoxville and the greater metropolitan area.