Oral Inflammation - Veterinary Online Courses
Lesson 1, Topic 1
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Oral Inflammation

Brett December 12, 2019

Oral Inflammation


Note that a definitive diagnosis of inflammation often cannot be made based on physical examination findings alone.

Oral and oropharyngeal inflammation

is classified by location:



Inflammation of gingiva


Inflammation of non-gingival periodontal tissues (i.e. the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone)

Alveolar mucositis:

Inflammation of alveolar mucosa (i.e., mucosa overlying the alveolar process and extending from the mucogingival junction without obvious demarcation to the vestibular sulcus and to the floor of the mouth)

Sublingual mucositis:

Inflammation of mucosa on the floor of the mouth

Labial/buccal mucositis:

Inflammation of lip/cheek mucosa


Caudal mucositis:

Inflammation of mucosa of the caudal oral cavity, bordered medially by the palatoglossal folds and fauces, dorsally by the hard and soft palate, and rostrally by alveolar and buccal mucosa

Stomatitis (ST):

Inflammation of the mucous lining of any of the structures in the mouth; in clinical use the term should be reserved to describe wide-spread oral inflammation (beyond gingivitis and periodontitis) that may also extend into submucosal tissues (e.g., marked caudal mucositis extending into submucosal tissues may be termed caudal stomatitis


. Note: The fauces are defined as the lateral walls of the oropharynx that are located medial to the palatoglossal folds. The areas lateral to the palatoglossal fold, commonly involved in feline stomatitis, are not the fauces.

Contact mucositis and contact mucosal ulceration (CU):

Lesions in susceptible individuals that are secondary to mucosal contact with a tooth surface bearing the responsible irritant, allergen, or antigen. They have also been called “contact ulcers” and “kissing ulcers”.



inflammation of mucosa covering the hard and/or soft palate


inflammation of mucosa of the dorsal and/or ventral tongue surface

Osteomyelitis (OST): Inflammation of the bone and bone marrow



Inflammation of the lip (including the mucocutaneous junction area and skin of the lip)

Tonsilitis (TON/IN):

Inflammation of the palatine tonsil

Pharyngitis (PHA/IN):

inflammation of the pharynx