Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

Rare condition characterized by brief spells of involuntary movement of the face, head, and later possibly of the limbs. Groans, obscenities and swearwords may also be uttered. The patient is not able to suppress the symptoms; the condition is made worse by emotion and tension. It is often thought that the syndrome is caused by an underlying psyschological disorder, but this is not the case. In principle the patient functions quite normally, although the nature of the symptoms places him under psychological pressure. The actual cause of the condition is unknown. It occurs mainly in men, and starts in childhood; symptoms may decrease with age. There are also mild forms, with few symptoms. Diagnosis is by the characteristic combination of symptoms. There is no definite treatment, although certain medicines are sometimes effective. Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) General acute inflammation of the gums is characterized by redness, pain, swelling and minor bleeding from the mucous membrane around the teeth. Inflammation can result, for example, from poor oral hygiene, a diet which lacks certain essential foodstuffs, alcoholism or infection of the mouth by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The first aim of treatment is to combat the cause. Besides this, the symptoms can be combated by means of mouthwashes (hydrogen peroxide), painkillers, an appropriate (mild) diet, and possibly antibiotics.

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