Oral pathology are diseases that affect the soft tissues inside your mouth, including your gums, tongue, and the insides of your cheeks. If you notice ulcers or discoloration, contact Fairfield Oral Surgery and Implantology for expert diagnosis and treatment. The surgeons have many years of experience in diagnosing and treating oral diseases, including cancer. Call the practice or make an appointment online today.
What is oral pathology?
The soft tissue inside of your mouth should be smooth with a bright coral-pink color. Any abnormality could be a sign of oral pathology, also referred to as oral disease. While oral cancer is the most potentially dangerous oral pathology, other diseases include:
- Herpes and other viral infections
- Candida and other fungal infections
- Erythema multiforme
- Aphthous stomatitis
What are the warning signs of oral disease?
Some of the common warning signs of oral pathology include:
- Sores or ulcers that don’t heal
- Red or white patches
- Thickening of the tissue
- Lumps and bumps
- Chronic sore throat
- Problems swallowing
Autoimmune conditions and immunodeficiency disorders increase your risk of noncancerous oral pathologies. If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment for assessment and diagnosis right away.
How are oral pathology diagnosed?
Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon provides a comprehensive exam to diagnose the cause of the abnormal tissue in your mouth. They ask about your overall health and if you’ve had any other symptoms.
If they find a suspicious patch or lump, your surgeon may take a biopsy for further testing. A biopsy is a small sample of cells that is sent to a lab to test for cancer and other diseases.
How are oral pathology treated?
Treatment depends on the type of oral pathology your surgeon diagnoses. For example, when possible, they perform an excision procedure to remove cancer. However, if you have a fungal or viral infection, they may prescribe medication to clear the infection. Some viruses, such as herpes, don’t have a cure, but your surgeon can provide advice and medicine to help you control your condition and reduce your risk of breakouts.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PERFORM A BIOPSY?
Your biopsy appointment will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. During the consultation, the surgeon may take a few tissue samples. Each biopsy sample takes 10 to 20 seconds to retrieve. When visiting the surgeon’s office allow a little extra time around your appointment to fill in the necessary paperwork.
DOES A BIOPSY MEAN CANCER?
Maybe your biggest worry, when referred for a biopsy, is that it could be cancer. However, biopsies are used to identify many different oral pathologies. Don’t delay in booking your appointment with Fairfield Oral Surgery. The surgeons there will be quick in identifying what is causing the irregularity so that you can get the treatment you need.
HOW CAN I CONDUCT A SELF EXAM FOR ORAL CANCER
It is good to conduct a self-exam for oral cancer at least once a month. Then, if any irregular cells grow in between your dental checkup you can identify the problem quickly and seek medical help. To perform a self-exam, look in the mirror and shine a bright light inside your mouth. Look inside your lips and cheek and check all gum surfaces. Look at the throat area too. Feel around the outside of your neck, jaw, and lymph glands for any lumps. If you see anything that doesn’t look normal then call the surgeons at Fairfield Oral Surgery for an oral pathology appointment.
HOW CAN I REDUCE THE RISK OF GETTING ORAL CANCER?
There are some known risk factors associated with oral cancer. By reducing or eliminating your exposure to these risks, it will help reduce your chances of developing oral cancer. Those who use tobacco products such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco are at a higher risk than those who don’t have exposure to these things. The same is true of those who avoid heavy drinking and high exposure to the sun. Although there still remains a possibility of still developing oral cancer your chances are greatly reduced by avoiding these things.