Oral 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:
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:
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.