Oral pathology is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases, including oral cancer. Pathologists are involved in all aspects of disease management, from research and diagnosis to examination and treatment. It is the study of the causes and effects of diseases that affect the mouth, jaw, and face. Many patients visit an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to evaluate and treat oral pathology.The scope of oral pathology is vast, and it requires the expertise of a dentist, an oral surgeon, and an oral pathologist to provide a comprehensive diagnosis, management, and treatment plan for any injury or disease.
Oral pathology specifically refers to any disease that can develop inside the mouth, including the salivary glands or jaws. Most oral diseases are benign and not serious, but it is always best to have an early evaluation to receive appropriate treatment.The most common area where an infection can occur is the smooth, coral-pink lining of the mouth, called the mucosa. If you notice any irregularities in the appearance of the lining or structures of the mouth, such as the tongue or tonsils, this may be a sign of a pathological process. When there are problems in the mouth, such as discomfort, tenderness, bleeding, or unusual gum symptoms, oral pathology helps to find answers.Oral pathology takes into account your personal health history to consider what existing medical conditions might specifically affect you.
The vast majority of oral diseases are benign and may require simple intervention, medical treatment, and continuous monitoring by the dentist. Oral pathology is essential in dental care as it allows us to diagnose symptoms and administer appropriate treatment quickly when there is a problem.If you have an illness or pain in your mouth, oral pathology can help you turn your oral health back into a condition that you can smile about. An oral exam is the best defense against dental problems and is your best chance to detect any oral diseases. If you have pain, bleeding, or unusual symptoms in your mouth, oral pathology helps us find answers.If you or your dentist detect any abnormalities, you may be referred to an oral and maxillofacial pathologist who will review your medical history and perform a thorough oral exam including an oral cancer screening.