Oral pathology is a disease that develops in a patient’s mouth. The specialty of oral pathology is a specialty that pertains to the diagnosis, management, and treatment of diseases in the mouth, face, or jaw. The disease may be in various parts of the mouth and face such as the jaws and salivary glands. Most of the time, oral pathology is found to be non-harmful and benign. However, any disease of the mouth or face should be evaluated by a doctor right away to rule out a serious condition. It may require treatment to get rid of the disease.
The lining of your mouth that is coral pink and smooth is called the mucosa. This is one of the most common places in the mouth to develop diseases. If the lining of your mouth, or any other area of your mouth, changes in appearance or looks irregular, be sure to see a doctor to have the problem checked out. This includes the tonsils, tongue, and other structures.
Symptoms of Oral Pathology
If you do have any form of oral pathology, there are a number of symptoms that you may experience. It’s a good idea to take notice of your oral cavity so that you can tell if something has changed. You should always monitor any symptoms you develop that may indicate that you have an illness or disease in your mouth or jaw. If you have any of the symptoms of these conditions, you need to see a doctor right away for evaluation and early diagnosis. If there is a serious problem, early intervention is the key to a better outcome.
Some of the symptoms to watch for include whitish or reddish areas that develop inside the mouth. If you have hoarseness all the time or a sore throat that doesn’t go away, these can be other symptoms of disease. If you’re having a hard time swallowing or chewing, you need to see a doctor. If you have a sore in your mouth that won’t heal and starts bleeding easily, this can be a serious sign of a problem. If you have a lump in your mouth or an area of sticker skin there, you may have an oral pathology.
Types of Oral Pathology
There are many types of illnesses and diseases that you can get in your oral cavity and jaw. An oral ulceration can be an infected area in the mouth and may indicate a worse problem. If you have strep throat or tonsillitis, these are both common types of oral pathologies. Some patients develop salivary gland disease. Herpes simplex virus is a highly common problem that can cause problems in and on the mouth. While mumps is largely wiped out, it can be found in those who aren’t vaccinated against it, and it can be a serious disease.
Burning mouth syndrome is a painful problem that can occur. There are also autoimmune diseases that can cause problems in the mouth. Getting cold sores on the mouth is another common oral pathology. Periodontal disease is one type, as are canker sores in the mouth. Thrush is an oral pathology that requires treatment, as does a condition called hairy tongue. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often found in children, and dental cavities are commonly found in patients of all ages. Perhaps the most serious type of oral pathology is oral cancer.
A doctor needs to provide a thorough assessment of your mouth if you have these symptoms so that any problems will be found as early as possible. In the case of lesions and other potentially diseased areas, the doctor may need to do a biopsy on the tissue to determine whether it’s cancerous or not. Usually, a lesion is removed both so that it can be evaluated and because it can be infected and uncomfortable. Some signs of oral cancer are painful, but not all of them are. If you notice a problem, you should get it checked out even if there isn’t any pain. Problems may include changes to the cheeks, lips, gum tissue, palate, face, tongue, teeth, or tongue.
If you do have oral cancer, of course it’s better for it to be caught quickly and treated. There are more than 50,000 new oral cancer cases each year in the U.S. It can be highly serious and can spread to other areas. There are some risk factors of oral cancer that can make you more likely to develop it.
If you have used tobacco for a long time, this is a major risk factor. Another is drinking alcohol long-term. If you have HPV, it’s also more likely. Patients who are overweight have an elevated risk. If you get too much UV light exposure or have poor nutrition, you are more likely to get oral cancer. If you have poor oral health or don’t practice good oral hygiene, you have an elevated risk. If you have had any of these experiences or conditions, it’s especially important to monitor the health of your mouth and to look for any problems.
When you have a problem with your mouth or jaw, DFW Oral Surgeons are here to help. Call us with your oral and facial problems and get your problem checked out in case there is an oral pathology present.