What Is Oral Pathology?
Oral Pathology is the study of the nature of diseases of the mouth and their causes, processes, development and consequences. One of the more serious of these diseases is oral cancer. Alterations in the appearance of the normally smooth and coral skin on the inside of the mouth can be a sign of a pathologic process or cancerous growth. Changes you can look for include the following.
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) 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
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body's most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help.