Your mouth is made up of a significant amount of delicate soft tissues. When those soft tissues – your gums, tongue, and cheeks – are healthy, they are smooth, and pink in color. However, sometimes, there are changes in these tissues. Any changes in your mouth should not be ignored. Pinnacle Oral Surgery Specialist are experts in oral pathology. We can diagnose your oral abnormality, and then provide you with the best treatment plan possible.
What Is Oral Pathology?
Oral pathology is a dental specialty that involves not only finding disease in and around your mouth but also treating it and any resulting damage. We look for anything from lumps and bumps to off colors and also strange substances growing on the in the throat or on the tongue and teeth. These can all be indicators of a disease, or worst-case scenario, cancer.
Why see an Oral Surgeon for Cancer Screening and Oral Pathology?
As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, oral pathology is a field that we have particular expertise in. While every dentist knows enough to identify it, surgeons know just a little bit more, as we often have to undertake the responsibility of removing whatever the problem is. Here at Pinnacle Oral Surgery Specialist, we know that finding out there is a problem in your mouth can be quite terrifying. Not only do we have the knowledge and experience that allows us to identify it sooner rather than later, but we are also able to take more steps in repairing the problem or reversing the damage.
What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer or Pathological Issues?
Patches: Red or white patches in the mouth, especially those that develop over time, can be very telling and lead us to find a proper diagnosis. The length of time it’s been there, size, and color all make a difference.
Sores: We also look for sores. Those that do not heal no matter how long they have been there, are tender to the touch, or bleed easily can indicate a more significant problem.
Lumps: Finding a lump in your mouth, like anywhere else in the body, can also mean trouble. It can also be the case if you notice a thickening in the skin or tissues in your mouth. That could mean something is attacking the fibers and tissues.
Pain: If you have long-lasting symptoms of pain, such as a chronic throat ache or difficulty when it comes to chewing or swallowing your food, your nerves may be worn and sensitive from an attacker.
What are the Types of Pathological Diseases?
There are several different types of oral pathological diseases:
Hairy Tongue: This particular issue is caused by bacterial overgrowth. As a result, your tongue looks almost black in color and appears hairy. While commonly caused by neglected oral hygiene, it can also be the result of long term antibiotic usage or radiation treatments.
Geographic Tongue: The surface of your tongue is covered in tiny bumps or papillae. With geographic tongue, areas of your tongue are missing these bumps, creating an almost map-like appearance. The affected areas often turn red and can be sensitive to certain types of foods.
Median Palatal Cyst: A cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops in your body and can be quite painful. A median palatal cyst develops in the center of your palate (the roof of your mouth).
Oral Cancer: Oral cancer is the most serious pathological disease. It affects over 40,000 Americans every year, and only approximately half of that number lives past 5 years. This is why early detection and intervention is crucial, and why anything odd in your mouth should be checked out immediately.
How are Oral Pathological Issues Diagnosed?
When it comes to diagnosing anything amiss in your mouth, Pinnacle Oral Surgery Specialist is the team you want by your side.
We conduct a thorough examination of your mouth. Along with the visual inspection, we may also employ the use of X-rays and other scans. In many cases, we also perform a soft tissue biopsy, which provides us with a sample of the lesion in your mouth so that we can examine it under a microscope. Biopsies are often the diagnostic tool of choice when it comes to oral cancer.
Infections and issues in the mouth fall into categories of hereditary, viral, or bacterial. These issues can start at different times in different people for different reasons. This is one thing that is 100% unique to the individual patient.
Treatment for Pathological Diseases
If you are diagnosed with a pathological disease, we have the experience and expertise to help treat it. For the most part (except oral cancer), pathological diseases are not life-threatening. However, we will still do everything we can to restore the health of your mouth. Treatment for pathological diseases may include:
Antibiotics: In the event of a bacterial infection, we will prescribe antibiotics, which will help to kill the bacteria and provide you with pain relief.
Prescription-Strength Mouthwashes: If over the counter mouthwash is not cutting it to kill the bacteria in your mouth, we may prescribe a stronger mouthwash.
Oral Surgery: Oral surgery can be used to get rid of cysts in your mouth or to remove non-cancerous lesions. It can also be used to remove cancerous lesions to get rid of oral cancer. If the cancer is still present after surgery, we will provide further treatment.
Ready to Schedule Your Oral Pathology Exam?
While a regular oral exam can help to spot oddities in your mouth, these abnormalities can occur at any time. Don’t risk your oral, and overall, health by waiting until your next scheduled cleaning and exam. Call Pinnacle Oral Surgery Specialist today to schedule your consultation. There is a wide range of treatment options, from deep cleaning to a prescription based hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, to in severe cases, surgery. If you have mouth cancer, radiation or chemotherapy may also be necessary.
Pinnacle Oral Surgery Specialist is dedicated to finding any problems that may develop quickly so that we can nip them in the bud. We also take measures to prevent the development of any disease. This makes it incredibly important that you keep up with your six-month check-up examinations! If you have already developed a problem, we can help you find a way to treat it and to ensure that bothers you for as little time as possible, or not at all. We care about our patients. Give us a call today to see what we can do for you.