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Lyme disease, which is initiated by the bite of a deer tick, is difficult to diagnose, but your dentist may be able to detect this mysterious disease, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education. Patients with Lyme disease report pain in their teeth, chewing muscles and jaw joint, which drives them to the dentist.
"Unfortunately, most patients are not diagnosed properly until their Lyme disease is at a later stage, when it is more difficult to treat," says AGD spokesperson Manuel Cordero, DDS. "Diagnosing this disease is very tricky because it can hide itself behind many dental problems, including toothaches and jaw pain."
A study of 120 patients with Lyme disease revealed that about 75 percent of patients reported pain in the chewing muscles, and 72 percent reported temporomandibular joint pain. Burning mouth was reported by 25 percent of these patients, and 70 percent reported a sore throat. About 47 percent of the patients visited up to 10 doctors before being properly diagnosed.
Updated: November 2008
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