Oral Pathologist in Elizabeth, NJ
Oral pathology, or oral and maxillofacial pathology, is the study and treatment of conditions in the mouth, jaw, and soft tissues. Oral pathology includes abnormalities, injuries, or irregularities in the teeth, gums, lips, mucosa (inner lining of the mouth), tongue, salivary glands, jaw, or facial muscles and joints.
Elizabeth Oral Surgery Group is dedicated to helping our patients get the treatments they need for their oral pathology diagnosis. We have experience in all areas of oral pathology condition management, including diagnosis, examination, and treatment. If you think you may have an oral condition, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and discuss the best treatment options that address your needs.
What is Oral Pathology?
The American Dental Association defines oral pathology as the dental specialty and discipline that deals with the “nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions.” Oral and maxillofacial pathology encompasses all aspects of the mouth, jaw, and facial tissue.
Most oral pathology conditions are benign and not serious. However, it’s always important to seek medical attention if you suspect an oral pathological condition as many of these disorders share similar symptoms and what may not seem serious could be life-threatening—such as oral cancer.
There are many types of conditions that are under the umbrella of oral pathology that share similar symptoms that consist of the following:
- Red or white patches in or around the mouth
- Ulcers or sores on the tongue, gums, or lips
- Inflamed gums
- Bleeding or receding gums
- Unusual spots or lumps
- Chronic pain in the mouth or throat
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, speaking, or breathing
- Visible changes in color or appearance of lips, cheeks, palate, face, or neck
Regular dental examinations are vital to the management of oral pathology and help detect oral cancer early.
8 Examples of Oral Pathology Conditions
A few conditions that fall into the oral pathology category include:
- Oral ulceration
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Strep throat
- Salivary gland disease
- Herpes simplex virus
- Oral cancer
If there’s anything that prevents you from comfortably speaking, smiling, chewing, or smiling, that could be an indication of an oral problem, and it’s important to contact an oral professional as soon as possible.
Detecting Oral and Maxillofacial Conditions
A surgeon may be able to determine the type of condition that affects the patient through an evaluation of symptoms and the patient’s medical history to detect oral or maxillofacial conditions. This approach is one of the most commonly utilized in oral pathology. However, in some cases, a biopsy of the affected area is needed to determine the condition’s nature accurately. A biopsy is a way to diagnose a patient’s condition definitively.
During a biopsy, a small portion of tissue is removed from the area demonstrating signs or symptoms of a suspected condition. Depending on the nature of the suspected condition, the tissue sample may consist of soft tissue, a bone from the jaw, or a combination of both. The biopsy is generally performed with local or general anesthesia to ensure the patient is comfortable during the brief procedure. An oral biopsy can take two forms:
- Incisional oral biopsy: Performed by removing a part of a larger mass to be screened. It helps to determine if a mass is benign or malignant.
- Excisional oral biopsy: Performed by removing an entire lump or suspicious growth, usually performed when the lump or growth is small.
The sample taken is examined in the pathology lab, a process that takes about ten days. When the surgeon has thoroughly reviewed the results from the lab, they return to discuss the findings and how to move forward with the patient.
Oral Pathology Conditions Prevent Tips
It’s possible to prevent severe oral conditions from worsening and catching oral cancer with enough time to address it. Early detection is a key factor in the success of many treatments. Patients are always encouraged to regularly perform self-exams at home and keep an eye out for common indicators of conditions such as oral cancer. An example of an at-home exam is performed as follows:
- Removal of oral prosthetic devices (dentures, removal bridges, retainers, etc.)
- Using a bright light and a small mirror to examine the inside surfaces of the lips and the fronts of the gums
- Gently but firmly pulling the corners of the mouth outward to examine the inside of the cheeks and the areas connected to the gums.
- Examining all the surfaces of the tongue (sticking it out as far as comfortable for a good look)
- Any unusual bumps, enlargements, discolorations, or lesions need to be reported to your doctor.
Symptoms to keep an eye out for that are associated with oral cancer include red or white patches, persistent bleeding of open sores, sore throat, or pain chewing or swallowing.
When an oral problem is detected in its early stages and a treatment plan is quickly implemented, the patient’s risk of serious complications decreases significantly.
Contact Our Experienced Oral Pathology Team Today
Experiencing oral pain and discomfort is not something to take lightly. At Elizabeth Oral Surgery Group, we are committed to helping our patients find the personalized care and treatment they need to address their oral conditions. We are proud to be the top choice for oral surgery in New Jersey, and we constantly provide our clients with the finest care.
When you’re dealing with a condition that impacts your quality of life, you need someone at your side you can trust. Elizabeth Oral Surgery Group has the best techniques and state-of-the-art care for all your oral condition needs. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our offices today at (908) 774-8196 or go to our website to complete our online contact form.