When any abnormal changes have occurred inside your mouth and gums, oral pathology screening is the next recommended step for identification or treatment. Oral pathology looks at the causes, effects, and processes of oral and maxillofacial diseases. While any abnormal changes in the mouth or gums require prompt examination, many oral lesions are not serious. It is important to take note of how your mouth and gums normally look and feel so that you can tell your oral surgeon right away if you notice any changes.
Signs of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases
Any changes in the mouth can indicate a pathological process, with oral cancer being the most serious. However, most oral pathologies are benign.
When mouth and gums are healthy, they are smooth and pink in color. Changes to the mouth and gums that require further examination include
- White and red patches in the mouth
- A lump or thickening of the gum tissue
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- A sore throat that won’t go away
- Rasping throat
- Sores inside the mouth that bleed easily or fail to heal
It is important to keep in mind that you may or may not experience pain with any of these signs. If you are experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms on your cheeks, lips, neck, tongue, palate, or gums, please call our office to schedule an appointment. We will make every effort to see you as soon as possible.
During your appointment, your oral surgeon will likely recommend a biopsy of the lesion after evaluating your medical history and the area of concern. Typically, a biopsy is a quick procedure to gather a sample of the lesion. Most of the time, local anesthesia is used. The sample will be sent to a pathologist, who will form a diagnosis based on their findings. The pathologist’s diagnosis will determine the next course of treatment.
At Central Washington Oral & Facial Surgery, we treat a variety of oral conditions and diseases, including
- Cysts and tumors of the jaw bones
- Sores in the mouth that won’t heal
- Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ)
- Red and white lesions of the oral cavity (leukoplakia and erythroplakia)
- Skin cancer or melanoma
If you have noticed any changes to your oral or maxillofacial health and want a qualified specialist to provide an oral screening for you, please contact our offices in Wenatchee and Moses Lake, WA. We look forward to caring for you.