Oral pathology encompasses a wide range of abnormal conditions that may arise in the jaws or oral cavity. Our doctors treat various pathologies such as oral cancer, benign growths and lesions of the oral cavity, and jaw cysts and tumors.
About Oral Pathology
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplakia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- Swelling of lymph nodes
Benign growths may occur on the structures of the mouth or oral cavity from trauma, irritation, viruses, or even spontaneously. Any change in the appearance of your mouth should be investigated, even if the area does not have pain. Curiously, pain is not usually a symptom in most patients with oral lesions. Frequent self-examination of the oral cavity and routine dental visits can help to catch lesions early.
Jaw cysts and tumors are growths that form within the upper or lower jawbone. Some of these are odontogenic (arising from the teeth), while others are composed of different cell types. Treatment of these growths depends on on the type of cyst or tumor.
Contact Us With Concerns
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help.