What is Oral Pathology?

Aside from placing dental implants and performing jaw surgery, your oral surgeon is extensively educated and trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the mouth, head, neck, and face. Oral pathology is the dental specialty that focuses on such diseases.

In many cases, but not in all cases, oral cancer is the cause of oral disease. Early detection of any abnormality within the mouth can provide you with the best chance for proper treatment and a full recovery. In fact, the mouth is said to be one of the body’s best early warning systems. When your health has been compromised, the very earliest signs and symptoms are often seen in the mouth.

Identifying these signs and symptoms as soon as possible can be life-saving when oral cancer has developed. Self-examination for suspicious lesions should be performed monthly, and a professional screening is recommended at each dental visit.

Of course, in order to perform an accurate screening, it is important to understand what you should be looking for. Red or white patches or lesions in the mouth, a sore that does not heal, a lump or thickening of the skin, chronic sore throat, or difficulty swallowing could indicate a problem. Any changes in the appearance or texture of the tongue, lips, palate, cheeks, or gum tissue should be noted and reported immediately.

Your oral surgeon should be consulted if you notice any changes in the tissue, and suspicious lumps, bumps, or sores. It is also important to remember that pain does not always accompany lesions or cancers, and millions of patient report that their cancerous lesions did not result in any noticeable pain in the early stages. Still, pain should not be ignored, and a professional consultation is always the most responsible way to address your concerns.

The tissue that lines the inside of the mouth should be smooth and coral pink in color. An alteration in the appearance of this tissue should be investigated for a possible pathologic condition. For your health, pay close attention to your body’s warning signs and contact Ford Moore Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, serving Aurora and neighboring areas, at 905-853-3727 for an examination.