Oral pathology involves diagnosing and treating dental diseases, including tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and even impact your general health. These diseases can arise in the teeth, the supportive bone, the temporomandibular joints and other soft tissue like the tongue, gums and salivary glands.
Signs that you might have an oral condition needing treatment include the following:
- Swelling in the mouth
- Persistent dry mouth
- Chronic oral infections
- Bleeding and soreness in the throat
- White areas in the throat
- Trouble chewing
- Ulcers in the mouth
Common Dental Diseases
A more serious oral pathological condition is oral cancer. This disease can show up anywhere in or on your mouth, including the tongue, lips and throat. The good news is it is preventable, particularly by staying away from tobacco and curtailing alcohol use. Regular oral cancer screenings by your doctor or dentist can help spot this disease when it is most easily and least invasively treated, in its early stages. See your dentist or doctor for regular oral cancer screenings since early detection can help you fight the disease most effectively.
Herpes Simplex Virus
One of the most common dental diseases to be aware of arises from the Herpes Simplex Virus, which is often noticeable from the fever blisters or cold sores. These painful blisters can show up on your lips and face as well as inside the mouth, and they may be accompanied by swollen glands and/or a fever. These sores are contagious and will disappear over time, but the virus remains in your body and can flare up again and again because of stress, sickness, a fever or sometimes sun exposure. You can treat the symptoms with OTC (over-the-counter) medications or an antiviral prescription.
Black Hairy Tongue
While it may sound scary, this oral condition is not actually dangerous and is easily treated. It shows up as dark and furry dead skin cells on your taste buds. It often arises because of using tobacco, taking antibiotics and having radiation treatments, and even poor oral hygiene can bring this on. You might also find yourself with bad breath and experience a metallic taste in your mouth. You can make this condition go away by cleaning your tongue with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper and practice twice-daily oral hygiene care diligently.
Candidiasis or Thrush
Another dental disease is Candidiasis or Thrush. This condition arises because of an overgrowth of the Candida fungus inside your mouth. People most susceptible to this are those with a weakened immune system, along with infants and senior citizens. Those who have undergone chemotherapy for cancer or those who have used steroids or antibiotics are also more susceptible to this disease. Another vulnerable group includes those who wear dentures. You might notice you have oral patches that start out white and then turn red if you scrape the tissue. While they are painful, antifungal medications can help them disappear in about one to two weeks.
We offer lesion biopsy and pathology to protect your oral and general health with a complete exam. Our diagnostic techniques and tools include radiographic, microscopic and biochemical examinations. Whether you have something like a salivary gland disorder or oral cancer, we are here to help.