The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer.
The oral region is especially prone to developing diseases because the mouth is responsible for a wide variety of functions, including breathing, speaking, drinking, and eating. These actions heighten your body’s exposure to germs, bacteria, and much more, increasing the risk of disease. Because the mouth is a gateway to other areas of the body, you are at an increased risk of infection and other problems.
There are a wide variety of oral pathologies that develop inside the mouth and on the face, ranging from a simple sore to a more complex issue.
Symptoms of Oral Pathologies
If you believe that you are developing an infection or disease in or around the mouth, it is important to seek expert evaluation of the affected area.
Oral pathology is not always painful, but it can put your overall health at risk if not addressed promptly. Luckily, most oral diseases can be treated if they are caught during the early stages of development.
There are a variety of symptoms you can watch for to identify a developing pathology, such as
Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth or tongue
Sores that bleed easily and do not heal
A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
Pain in or around the mouth without a clear cause
Hoarseness, a sore throat, or an earache that lasts longer than normal
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
Symptoms of oral pathologies, such as those above, can usually be identified by performing regular self-examinations. When performing a self-examination, it is important to look at every area of your mouth, including the tongue, inside the cheeks, the roof of the mouth, and the gums surrounding the teeth.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly. Remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores.
Your general dentist can also help you detect problems early. If an oral pathology is detected, your general dentist will refer you to an Oral surgeon for treatment.
Who provides treatments for Oral Pathologies?
Some of the most common diseases and infections treated by Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons include
Cold sores and canker sores
Tumors of the oral and facial soft tissues
Salivary gland disorders
Fungal, viral, and bacterial infections
Visiting an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon for Oral Pathology
During your visit with at BC Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, our Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon will perform an evaluation involving examining the oral cavity for possible lesions that can be benign or malignant.
Some of the pathologic lesions will not line the skin of the mouth and can be found within the jawbone. During your visit with BC Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, it is recommended to have a panoramic x-ray to evaluate the jaw bones and determine if other possible lesions exist within the bone. Pathology within the jaw bone can include cysts, tumors, vascular malformations and extra teeth.
With BC Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, you will have a consultation for an evaluation of the lesion, and if required, a biopsy will be performed. The tissue will be submitted to an oral pathologist for evaluation under a microscope.
Schedule an Oral Pathology Examination
At BC Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon can perform an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, to examine the oral cavity for possible lesions that can be benign or malignant, and if required, a biopsy will be performed.