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A Guide to Oral Pathology: Common Oral Diseases

September 13, 2021

Although you might not consider oral care as important, it becomes an entirely different situation when you're sitting on your couch in the middle of the day with a bad toothache. If it were a more serious oral disease, then you'd need to visit an expert in oral pathology in Denton.

If you're interested in learning more about how oral diseases manifest and how to prevent and cure them, read on below as we discuss them all in this article.

What Is Oral Pathology?

Oral Pathology is a medical specialty which deals with the diagnosis of diseases and disorders of the mouth, jaws, and teeth. This specialty is often divided into two sub-specialties:

1) Oral Medicine, which deals with the medical treatment of diseases affecting the oral cavity and related structures, such as tongue or facial muscles.

2) Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery deals with surgical treatments of these same areas.

An oral pathologist is a dentist who specializes in diseases of the mouth, throat, and jaw. They provide a diagnosis by performing gum biopsy, treatment, prevention, and education for oral health.

This field of medicine is growing with contributing factors such as an aging population with dental care needs and an increase in chronic diseases like diabetes.

Oral pathologists are responsible for taking about 100 cases per year on average, but the short-term load can range anywhere from 5-50 cases at one time.

The Types of Oral Diseases 

Oral diseases are caused by many different factors. Some are caused by physical factors, such as poor nutrition or trauma; others, by medical conditions, such as diabetes or HIV. Here are just some of the different types of oral diseases.

Dental Caries 

Dental caries or tooth decay is one of the most common oral diseases known today, usually forming on the surface of the teeth.

Although it might not seem serious, the longer the plaque stays, the more sugar it converts to acid, which can destroy the teeth over time. 

If you like consuming food and beverages with high sugar content, regularly brushing your teeth using fluoride toothpaste, or visiting the dentist to remove the plaque would be the best solution to avoid infections or the loss of your teeth.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a form of cancer that originates in the mouth, the lips, or the throat. This disease is so common because of its proximity to the lymph nodes.

The incidence of oral cancer among Americans age 50 and above has increased by more than 35% over the last 20 years. Roughly 8% of all head and neck cancers are oral cancers. 

According to the American Cancer Society, about 54,010 new cases are related to the oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. Moreover, over 10,580 deaths have occurred due to this type of illness in 2021.

Signs include bleeding gums or white patches in your mouth or throat. The most common symptom of oral cancer is a sore that does not heal within four weeks or keeps recurring.

Periodontal Disease

Gum disease is a slowly progressing disease that can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

It affects all age groups of people, but more often it starts in people who are 45 or older. It is most common in adults over the age of 65. 

There are many risk factors for developing gum disease including smoking, poor oral hygiene, diabetes, periodontal bacteria (plaque), and genetics (family history).

Gum disease may happen when plaque builds up on the teeth and gums, causing an infection.

The most common symptoms are bleeding gums or getting very little blood when brushing teeth. Some other signs are bad breath, swollen or tender gums, loose teeth, receding gum line, and tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. 

If left untreated, this will lead to tooth loss and more serious health problems down the road. A dentist should be consulted at once if there are any of these symptoms present to get the condition under control.

When Do I Need to Visit an Oral Pathologist?

If you notice symptoms like mouth ulcers or bleeding gums, and it starts to interfere with your everyday activities, then it's time to visit your oral pathologist.

They can help you choose an option for treatments, as well as help you rule out if what you have is oral cancer or not. It's better to have it treated immediately before it starts to get worse. 

It can help you save money on the treatment, and you'd still have plenty of options to choose from to solve your dental issues.

Interested in Learning More About Oral Pathology in Denton?

Now that you know what oral pathology is and the different diseases that fall under the category of oral diseases, it's time to visit an expert in oral pathology in Denton.

Call Texas Oral Surgery Group and schedule an appointment, so we can take care of any issues you might have with your oral health. 

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