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Oral Pathology

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Identify and Treat Oral Disease

Oral pathology refers to any type of disease or cancer in the oral and maxillofacial region. Periodontists are trained to identify abnormalities in the mouth, perform a diagnosis, and treat accordingly. Attending regular dental visits is important because your dentist checks for abnormalities and refers you to an oral surgeon for treatment. Early detection and treatment is key for optimal outcomes. Although rare, the presence of an abnormality could indicate the presence of oral cancer, and this should be treated as soon as possible.

Types of Oral Diseases

There are many types of oral diseases ranging from infections to oral cancer. Our periodontists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions. During your first visit, we will evaluate your oral health to detect the abnormality and form a diagnosis. The most common types of oral infections and diseases include:

  • Gum disease; according to the CDC, periodontal disease affects nearly half of adults age 30 and over

  • Infectious diseases, such as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1)

  • Oral cancers, which can affect the gums, tongue, tonsils, or top of the throat

  • Candidiasis (thrush); according to the CDC, oral thrush is the most common fungal infection

  • Salivary gland disorders

Signs and Symptoms

Many oral and facial pathologies have no uncomfortable or painful symptoms in early stages. If you or your dentist notices any of the following symptoms, you should see a periodontist for a second opinion and possible treatment:

  • Sores that bleed or do not heal on their own

  • White or reddish patches on the mouth’s lining or tongue

  • Thickening areas or structures forming in the lining of the mouth

  • Soreness or hoarseness in the throat that won’t go away

  • An earache that lasts longer than normal

  • Pain in or around the mouth with no obvious cause

How Are Oral Diseases Treated?

Treatment for oral disease will depend on the type and severity. Prior to treatment, we will meet with you during a consultation visit and examine your condition. We may take 3D scans of your mouth and face for a more detailed view. As periodontists, we are qualified to administer all forms of anesthesia in our offices and will discuss your options for any upcoming treatment.

We can treat some infections with antibiotics and close monitoring. Benign cysts or tumors may be removed if they do not resolve on their own. If oral cancer is detected, there are a number of treatment options available to treat the cancer and prevent it from spreading.

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