Oral Pathology FAQs
What Is oral pathology?
Oral pathology is an area of dental practice related to identifying and managing diseases affecting your mouth and jaw. Some of the conditions that fall under the umbrella of oral pathology include:
- Fungal infections
- Salivary gland disease
- Lumps and bumps in the oral and facial region
- Dental abscess
As with many health issues, early detection is the best way to begin an effective treatment path. If you notice changes in the tissues of your mouth or jaw, schedule a diagnostic exam right away.
What are some signs of oral cancer?
Oral cancer is dangerous because it doesn’t always present clear symptoms in the early stages. Knowing what to look for can help you decide when to seek medical attention. Some signs of a potential problem include:
- Red or white patches
- Small red or white spots or sores
- Discoloration in any area of your mouth
- Rough spot, lump, or thickening in your mouth or lips
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Changes in your bite
- Sore throat or being hoarse
- Pain or numbness in your lips or mouth
Very often oral cancer can be caught in the pre-cancerous stage, when treatments can have the biggest impact. If your specialist detects signs of cancer a biopsy can be performed to remove a small area of tissue for microscopic evaluation.
How can I maintain optimal oral health?
Embracing a good oral hygiene routine is a great way to keep your mouth happy and healthy. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, and don’t forget to pay attention to your gums and tongue.
You should also take steps to reduce your risk of oral disease. If you smoke or use tobacco products, find a smoking cessation program that works for you. You can also take steps to improve your overall health, which has a direct impact on your oral health and vice versa.
Finally, scheduling routine dental exams is an important step. Your dentist is trained to evaluate the tissues in your mouth to check for abnormalities. Very often, a dental professional will note an area of concern you might not notice when you brush and floss.
If you’re overdue for a dental exam or have concerns about changes in your mouth or jaw, come in for a consultation. Online appointment requesting is available, or you can always call the office to set up a visit.