Oral pathology involves the detection of abnormalities and conditions of the oral and maxillofacial region. With thorough examinations and the use of diagnostic technology, oral surgeons can diagnose a range of congenital conditions such as cleft lips and palates along with viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Additionally, oral pathology is used to detect and treat cancers of the oral cavity as well.
Diagnosing abnormalities may require the use of X-rays, intraoral cameras, and biopsies to determine the nature and cause of oral conditions. In some cases, a trained eye can detect an abnormality—especially among the soft tissues of the mouth. For example, oral cancers often produce noticeable symptoms such as red or white patches in the mouth and lumps in tissue. If your oral surgeon or dentist suspects that lesions in the mouth could be cancerous, a biopsy is conducted to determine whether the suspicious area is malignant or benign. Treatment for oral cancer will depend on the results of the biopsy and the extent of the disease. As with other types of cancer, early detection significantly improves a patient’s prognosis.
Infection, especially those of a fungal nature, is detectable to the naked eye as well. An overgrowth of Candida or a common condition called thrush produces white patches or white-colored material that resembles the consistency of cheese inside the mouth. Infectious conditions may be treated with antibiotics and anti-fungal medications.
When it comes to diagnosing congenital defects and abnormal growth in the jawbones, X-rays normally reveal conditions such as cysts in bone, abnormal development of the jawbone, and misalignment of a patient’s occlusion (bite). These conditions are commonly remedied with corrective jaw surgery procedures and orthodontic treatment.
Depending on the nature of your condition, your oral pathology treatment options vary significantly. Our oral surgery team works diligently to ensure that patients receive quality oral healthcare and the best treatment for their needs. To schedule an examination with one of our skilled oral surgeons, contact our office today.