Oral pathology is a specialty of dentistry dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. Oral pathology specifically refers to any disease that can develop inside the mouth, which includes the salivary glands or jaws. While most oral pathology is benign and not serious, it is always best to have an early evaluation to receive proper treatment. One of the most common areas that will show infection is the smooth, coral pink lining of your mouth called mucosa. If you notice an irregularity in the appearance of your mouth’s lining or structures, such as the tongue or tonsils, this may be a sign of a pathological process.
With his extensive education and professional experience in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery, Dr. Bobst routinely performs biopsies of oral and facial tissue and the removal of bony lesions.
Do I have oral pathology?
It is important to constantly monitor and pay attention to warning signs that could indicate disease or illness in various stages. Dr. Bobst offers consultations for any patients that detect any symptoms or signs of the following diseases in the best interest of catching the early stages and providing treatment. If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact our office immediately for an evaluation.
A few common examples of oral pathology include
- Oral ulceration
- Strep throat
- Salivary gland disease
- Herpes simplex virus
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Oral cancer
- Some autoimmune diseases
Symptoms that may be suggestive of an oral pathological process include
- Reddish or whitish patches in the mouth
- A chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- A sore that bleeds easily and fails to heal
Some common oral pathologies you should be aware of include
Erythroplakia. This tissue change is a warning sign of oral cancer, indicated by red patches of varying sizes and texture. These patches do not cause pain, so are often overlooked. Regardless of whether or not the patches are benign, a biopsy is always recommended to ensure the cells are not cancerous. Often follow-ups are requested to monitor the mouth even after patches are removed.
Leukoplakia. A white patch in the mouth that is possibly precancerous and can occur on the inside of lips, the tongue, or cheek. Typically these patches have a rough texture, are white in color, and cause pain or discomfort while swallowing. Smokers and patients with dentures, crowns, or bridges have a higher chance of leukoplakia.
To determine if you need treatment for an oral pathology, Dr. Bobst will perform a thorough oral exam in the area showing symptoms. He may conduct a biopsy to determine whether or not the affected area is cancerous. Typically the lesion is removed to prevent further discomfort, infection, and to evaluate for cancer.
It is important to remember that not all of the oral pathology symptoms are painful, and the absence of pain does not mean that a problem does not exist. Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Bobst if you suspect you may be experiencing a pathological process. He will perform a thorough examination of your mouth to detect the presence of infection or disease and create a personalized treatment plan to restore your oral health.