Oral pathology looks at the causes, effects, and processes of oral and maxillofacial diseases. While any abnormal changes in the mouth or gums require prompt examination, many oral lesions like abscesses, ulcers, and tumors are not serious. Be sure to note how your mouth and gums usually look and feel so you can tell your oral surgeon immediately if you notice any changes.
Signs of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases
Any changes in the mouth can indicate a pathological process, with oral cancer being the most serious. However, most oral changes are benign.
When a mouth and gums are healthy, they are smooth and pink in color. Sudden changes that need further examination include:
• White and red patches in the mouth
• A lump or thickening of the gum tissue
• Difficulty chewing or swallowing
• A sore throat that won’t go away
• Raspy throat
• Sores inside the mouth that bleed easily or do not heal
You may not necessarily experience pain with any of these signs. If you are experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms on your cheeks, lips, neck, tongue, palate, or gums, please call our office to schedule an appointment. We will make every effort to see you as soon as possible.
During your appointment, Dr. Clayhold may recommend a biopsy. A biopsy is a quick procedure that gathers a small sample of the lesion. Most of the time, local anesthesia is used. The sample will be sent to a pathologist at a lab, who will form a diagnosis based on their findings. The pathologist’s diagnosis will determine the next course of treatment.
Dr. Clayhold treats a variety of oral conditions and diseases, including:
• Cysts and tumors of the jaw bones
• Sores in the mouth that won’t heal
• Red and white lesions of the oral cavity (leukoplakia and erythroplakia)
• Skin cancer or melanoma
If you have noticed any changes to your oral or maxillofacial health and want a qualified specialist to provide an oral screening for you, please contact our offices in Issaquah, WA. We look forward to caring for you.