Oral pathology is an important specialty that helps oral surgeons, orthodontists, and dentists treat patients as quickly as possible. And at East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we want to ensure each patient gets the care they need to accurately diagnose, examine, and treat oral health problems they are having. We will be going over what oral pathology generally entails.
What is Oral Pathology?
Oral pathology is the specialization of oral diseases and disorders. This covers a wide range of topics such as oral cancer, periodontal disease, and oral disorders. Pathologists are a vital part of the dental world and they work with other specializations to diagnose issues and monitor patients through treatment.
The goal for an oral pathologist is to spot problems as early as possible to increase the effectiveness of treatment. Having dedicated specialists in this field allows for patients to have the best possible recovery. It is quite literally teamwork!
Common Problems That Involve Oral Pathology
Because of the vast scope that oral pathology covers, it is impossible to accurately explain all of the conditions in one go on this page - but we have provided examples of oral problems that a pathologist will diagnose and monitor.
When it comes to oral health problems, oral cancer is one of the most severe. Typically an oral cancer screening is done to look for signs of the condition. This includes checking for red and white patches in the mouth, feeling for bumps, and using dye and lights to spot tissue that contains cancer cells.
Periodontal disease is when gingivitis gets out of hand. The damage that periodontal disease causes cannot be reversed and thus it is important that the disease is diagnosed as early as possible to minimize the damage. We will look for signs such as bleeding, swelling, and receding gums as well as loose teeth.
As previously mentioned, pathology also covers physical disorders. Macroglossia is a condition where the tongue has grown noticeably larger than normal. This has an impact on one’s ability to chew and speak properly. Treatment for macroglossia involves reducing the size of the tongue with surgery.
Whether a person was born with it or it happened via an accident or bruxism, a pathologist will also look for jaw misalignment and TMD symptoms. A jaw that is not properly aligned can cause difficulty in one’s ability to move their jaw when chewing - it can also create a resting position where the lips cannot close properly.
You have likely experienced oral ulcers at one point via canker sores which are small, harmless, but painful sores that develop inside the mouth. Sometimes oral ulcers are not so harmless and they can point to signs of serious health issues such as gum disease and oral cancer.
Talk To Us About Oral Health Issues
At East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we are here for you when you are in need. If you are concerned about the state of your oral health, you can call our office at (860) 934-7809 to schedule an appointment or ask us questions you may have for us.