Oral pathology, simply put, refers to any type of sickness or malignancy within the mouth. The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin called “mucosa.” This skin is smooth and coral pink in color, and it is very important in the identification and treatment of every type of oral pathology. Patients who experience or notice any alteration in the appearance or feeling of their mucosa are recommended to call a dental practice, such as Virginia Oral, Facial, and Implant Surgery, immediately. Changes in the mucosa are one of the first early warning signs of malignancies and oral pathology.

Patients, however, may not be fully aware of what the different types of oral pathology are and what their warning signs are. Below are some of the most common types of oral pathology:

  • Gingivitis: The beginning stages of gum disease, gingivitis presents itself in some form for a lot of patients. Gingivitis is caused by a buildup of bacteria in the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth and can result in the development of periodontitis.
  • Periodontitis: Also known as advanced gum disease, periodontitis is less common but is still a very prevalent and dangerous oral pathology. Periodontitis in its advanced stages can lead to loss of teeth and recession of the gum line as well as bone loss.
  • Oral Candidiasis: A common fungal infection of the mouth that often occurs in immunocompromised individuals. If left untreated, the fungus will continue to grow and damage the tissues of the mouth.
  • Mouth Cancer: The most dangerous of oral pathology cases, cancers of the mouth can be present in nearly anyone, but there are many factors that can increase the risk of developing cancer.

Patients may not understand how to diagnose these problems, but there are some things that patients should be on the lookout for to identify oral pathology. Patients who keep a good eye on their gum and mouth health will not only catch pathologies earlier but can receive better treatment by helping the doctor to identify less than obvious symptoms that can aid in diagnosis. Patients should be aware of some of the common symptoms of oral pathology:

  • Reddish patches or whitish patches 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
  • A chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing

Patients experiencing any of the above could be in the beginning stages of an oral pathological process a cancerous growth. Do not ignore suspicious lumps. Patients with these symptoms should contact Virginia Oral, Facial, and Implant Surgery to avoid a dangerous situation. Time is key, and oral pathology is no less serious than any other body sickness. IF caught early, oral pathology poses little risk to individuals of good health, so do not hesitate to call.

For an accurate diagnosis, contact Dr. Gocke and Dr. McAdams in McLean, VA to schedule an oral pathology consultation at (703) 388-2805.