What is Oral Pathology?
Oral pathology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of pathology that deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. It is a science that investigates the causes, processes, and effects of these diseases. The practice of oral pathology includes research and diagnosis of diseases using clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical, or other examinations
Is There Anything I Can Do?
Because the mouth is readily accessible, changes indicative of oral cancer or a pathological process can easily be detected in their early stages. But remember, we only find something if we are looking for it.
Performing a self -examination regularly will help in the early recognition of disease. To complete a self- examination of the mouth use a bright light and mirror (in front of the bathroom mirror is a good place) and perform the following:
- Remove any dentures (if you have them).
- Look at and feel the inside of the lips and the front of the gums around the teeth.
- Tilt your head back to look at and feel the roof of your mouth.
- Pull out the cheeks to see the insides and also see the back gums.
- Stick your tongue out and look at all of its surfaces.
What Are The Warning Signs of Oral Pathology?
Overall, cancer involving the head and neck region represents only about 5% of all malignancies (cancers) reported each year. According to the American Cancer Society, research has determined a number of factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer.
- Reddish patches
- Whitish patches
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) on both sides of the neck and under the lower jaw.
Those at an especially high risk of contracting oral cancer are males over the age of forty who participate in a combination of heavy drinking and smoking or are users of smokeless tobacco.
Keep in mind that your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems.
Fortunately, most of the pathological processes associated with the mouth are benign and non-cancerous. However, do not be foolish to ignore any suspicious lumps or sores. The early detection and prompt treatment of any pathology may well be the key to a complete recovery.
For any additional questions or to schedule your consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Oral Health Solutions
5340 Belt Line Road
Dallas. TX 75254