What is Oral Pathology?
Oral and maxillofacial pathology is the specialty that deals with the identification and nature of oral disease. This is generally done from the specimens removed from the diseased areas by the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. This is called biopsy surgery. Oral and maxillofacial medicine is the specialty that deals with oral disease that generally does not require any surgery but is treated with non-invasive methods such as medication and oral appliances. This is frequently also carried out by the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.
What are Signs of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases?
Your gums should normally look smooth and coral pink in color. If you notice a change in this appearance, it could be an early development of a pathological process. The most serious pathological disease is oral cancer. Here are some signs that could indicate the beginning of a pathologic process or cancer:
- White and Red patches in the mouth (see Figure 1)
- Sore(s) that bleed easily or fails to heal
- Thickening or a lump on your gums inside your mouth
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Constant sore throat or rasping
You can notice these changes on your cheeks, lips, face, neck, tongue, palate, and gum tissue around your teeth. You may not experience pain with these signs.
Should I Check for Oral Pathologies?
You should check your mouth monthly and look for changes like the ones listed above. You should never ignore suspicious sores or lumps. Contact us immediately if you notice changes in and around your mouth.