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Oral Pathology

Close up of gloved hand holding test sampleOral pathology is a dental specialty focused on diagnosing and treating various oral conditions and diseases. Oral pathology deals with diseases of the teeth, jaws, cheeks, lips, face, and neck. It is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.

Two of the most common dental problems most patients face—cavities and periodontitis—are both treatable by oral pathology. With oral pathology, our team can investigate the causes and effects of several oral diseases and teach our patients how to prevent them.

Causes Of Oral Cancer

Of the estimated 1.9 million cancer cases reported in America each year, about 5% of these are in the head and neck regions. Oral cancer can have many different causes, but primary risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, and excessive sun exposure to the lips. According to research, smokers are four times more likely to die of oral cancer than nonsmokers.

Fortunately, most oral disease processes are benign and treatable by a variety of medications and surgical procedures. Because of the visibility and accessibility of the mouth, potential problems can be easily detected early on by yourself or your dentist.

Warning Signs Of Oral Cancer

Signs of oral cancer can appear on the face, lips, palate, tongue, gums, cheeks, and neck. Contact us as soon as possible if you notice any of the following abnormalities in these areas:
•  Leukoplakia (white patches)
•  Erythroplasia (red patches)
•  Thick skin or lumps inside the mouth
•  Sores that bleed easily and won’t heal
•  Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
•  Difficulty chewing and swallowing

As strange as it may seem, pain in the mouth and face is not always a sign of oral cancer, and it may not even be used to diagnose oral pathologies. However, if you are experiencing pain in the mouth or facial regions without a definite cause, you may be at risk for oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Prevention And Screening

It is far more effective to prevent and address cancer in its earlier stages than to try and treat it in more advanced stages. Regular self-examinations can help you identify potential symptoms of oral cancer, but it isn’t easy to find a complication or problem if you don’t know what they look like.

How to Perform a Self-Examination

Using a mirror and adequate lighting, perform the following steps:
•  Remove any removable retainers, dentures, or clear aligners if applicable
•  Examine your mouth by feeling the front of your gums around your teeth
•  Feel along the inside of your lips
•  Tilt your head back and feel the roof of your mouth
•  Pull your cheeks away to observe the insides and back of your gums
•  Stick out and examine all surfaces of the tongue
•  Feel your neck and lower jaw for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes

Many oral problems are remediable if caught in their early stages. Be sure to routinely examine your mouth and face, and call our office right away if you suspect any problems.

For more information on oral pathology, please call our office at 214-363-9946.

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Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, 8315 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 225, Dallas, TX 75231 + 214-363-9946 + + 7/24/2024 + Associated Words: dental implants North Dallas +