Oral pathology is an entirely unique and highly valuable form of dental care. It is a branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing and treating oral diseases. Oral pathologists are committed to not only examining and diagnosing any potential diseases in your mouth, we also help contribute to and advance research in this growing field. We here at Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery are pleased to help provide the very best in dental care, helping to make sure you have a mouth that is healthy and free from disease throughout your entire lifetime.
What Do Oral Pathologists Do?
As oral pathologists, we are careful to listen closely to your concerns when you come in for an appointment with us. Even if you are not reporting any pain or discomfort, we will still carefully examine your mouth during your exam. If we happen to notice anything of concern (such as an infection or a suspicious growth) we will immediately take action to promptly diagnose it and treat it.
There are a wide variety of oral health issues that can arise, but we are highly trained to identify and recognize them. Common problems include salivary problems, halitosis (bad breath), canker sores, cold sores (herpes simplex virus), thrush (fungal infections), and other infections and lesions in the mouth. We also can help diagnose periodontal disease (gum disease), macroglossia (an enlarged tongue), and geographic tongue. Sometimes we do encounter less common concerns, such as oral cancer, as well.
What Are Common Symptoms of Oral Pathology?
Signs of oral pathology can vary from patient to patient, as no two cases are identical. However, there are a few things that you should be aware of, and if you happen to notice any of these symptoms, it is important to contact us right away. Common signs of oral pathology can include visible changes (in either the color or the appearance) of your cheeks, soft palate, tongue, lips, gums, and even your neck or face.
If you happen to notice a new onset of red or white patches in your mouth, that may also be of concern. Lumps can also hint at an underlying issue. A healthy mouth is typically free from these issues, and your gums and mucosa (the membrane inside your mouth) should be smooth and pink. You should also be mindful of any new open sores in your mouth, especially if they bleed or refuse to heal. If your gums are swollen or bleeding, then that may also suggest issues inside your mouth. Finally, an ongoing sore throat or difficulties in eating and swallowing may warrant immediate intervention from us.
Your dental health is so much more than just the health of your teeth. While that is certainly quite important, too, it is ideal to take a comprehensive look at the inside of your mouth. Routine appointments at our office can help keep these issues at bay, allowing you to maintain a healthy, disease-free smile. To learn more about oral pathology, or to set up an exam for a checkup and oral pathology screening at our office here at Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery, please do not hesitate to give us a call today at 304-343-5161.