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Oral Manifestations of Thyroid Disease

Updated March 23, 2017

Thyroid disease may rear its head in any system in the body, including the mouth. Both hyperactive and hypoactive thyroid conditions can have oral manifestations.

Hypothyroidism in Adults

According to Colgate, adults with hypothyroidism may experience change in taste, slow wound healing, delayed tooth growth, poor gum health and enlarged tongue.

Hypothyroidism in Children

In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, hypothyroid children may have swollen gums and malocclusion, a condition in which the upper and lower teeth do not line up. The tongue may become large enough to protrude. Age of diagnosis and how long the hypothyroidism was present before diagnosis will determine the severity of the symptoms, according to Colgate.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroid patients of all ages may experience severe gum disease, weakening of the jaw bone, excess salivation and/or swollen salivation glands. These symptoms are made worse by iodine therapy sometimes used to treat hyperthyroidism.

Burning Mouth Syndrome and Sjogren's Syndrome

Burning Mouth Syndrome, a condition that causes a burning pain in the mouth, and Sjogrnen's Syndrome, a condition that causes dry mouth, are more common in people with thyroid disease.

Dental Help

Always discuss your thyroid problem with your dentist as some of your medication may interfere with some common dental drugs.

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About the Author

Lily Welsh is a freelance writer from North Carolina, though she has spent much of her adult life living abroad. She is the About.com Guide to Music Careers, and her work appears frequently in other Web-based and print publications. Welsh has worked in the music industry for 15 years and counting and holds B.A.s in international studies and economics.