Today’s patients’ blog topic details all you need to know about oral pathology (and why it acts as the backbone of both the surgical and non-surgical dental treatments offered here at CVOS Oral Surgery.)
As defined by the Canadian Dental Association, “Oral pathology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of pathology that deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions.”
How does this extend to our treatments (and, in turn, your health?) Well:
Oral Pathology: The Bridge Between Dental Hygiene and Overall Health
Dental concerns crop up even with the best habits. That is why oral pathology is a non-negotiable when it comes to keeping your dental health and, in turn, overall health in check year after year.
As explained on our dedicated oral pathology page, oral pathology can be used to diagnose myriad facial and oral symptoms. The most serious of these symptoms can be oral cancer, which is frequently identified by:
- Verifying if there are reddish or whitish patches on the inside of the mouth vs. its natural coral pink
- Verifying if there has been a thickening of the mouth’s interior skin lining
- Verifying if there are existing lumps or sores
- Verifying chronic or unexplained hoarseness or sore throat
- Verifying difficulty chewing or swallowing
Areas other than the inside of the mouth that are also checked during an oral pathology exam are the lips, palate, cheeks, face, and neck.
What Should You Do If You Experience Symptoms That Warrant An Assessment?
For immediate concerns, the CVOS Oral Surgery team advises that you visit your family dentist as soon as possible for an assessment. If necessary, please request to be referred to CVOS Oral Surgery.
Oral exams— including ones that screen for oral cancer— are entirely painless. Only if lesions or other dental abnormalities are present does our team conduct a biopsy to either entirely remove (when applicable) or partially remove (for diagnosing purposes) the abnormal tissue. From there, your dentist will walk you through the next steps of your specific diagnosis.
For oral cancer in particular, annual self-exams are recommended to catch potential concerns early. You can do this by conducting the following self-screening steps:
- Visually check your mouth for swelling or abnormal bumps
- Note any changes to surrounding growths, such as moles near the lips
- Test your neck for any tenderness
- Examine the inside of your lower lip for potential sores
- Using your tongue or finger, check the roof of your mouth for any abnormalities
- Ensure that your tongue is displaying no signs of unexplained discolouration, swelling, or lumps
Your mouth is one of your body’s most noticeable warning systems. When in doubt, don’t ignore the signals it’s sending you!
How CVOS Oral Surgery Does Oral Pathology Best
We here at CVOS Oral Surgery have compiled a team of highly-specialized oral pathologists in order to examine and diagnose early signs of oral cancer or other health concerns. Having been in the business of ensuring your dental health since 1979, the entirety of CVOS Oral Surgery’s staff is dedicated to delivering the expertise, reliability, and integrity that has made us one of the most trusted dental practices in Ontario.
Contact us to have any more of your oral pathology questions answered (or book your assessment with us today!)