We use our mouths for so many tasks, such as eating, speaking, and breathing; consequently, our mouths have an increased risk for disorders and infections known as oral pathology. Oral pathology refers to any disease that can develop inside the mouth, salivary glands, or jaws. While many oral pathologies are benign (non-cancerous), it is always best to get an early evaluation and proper treatment of any oral irregularities in order to avoid severe complication or the need for a more extensive surgical procedure.
One of the most common areas that will show infection is the smooth, coral pink-colored lining of your mouth called mucosa. If you notice an irregularity in the appearance of your mouth’s lining or structures, such as the tongue or tonsils, this may be a sign of a pathological process.
Some common examples of oral pathological processes include:
- Strep throat
- Herpes simplex virus
- Salivary gland disease
- Oral ulceration
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Oral cancer (the most serious oral pathological process)
- Some autoimmune diseases
Symptoms that may be indicative of oral pathology include:
- 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
- A chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
It is important to remember that not all of these symptoms are painful; however, the absence of pain does not mean that a problem does not exist. We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly. Your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. If you experience any of the above symptoms on your lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth or tongue, or your face and/or neck, you should contact our office in Indianapolis, IN, immediately.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts in the evaluation and treatment of oral pathology. Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Falender if you suspect you may be experiencing a pathological process. He will perform a thorough examination of your mouth and its surrounding areas to detect the presence of infection or disease and develop a personalized treatment plan to restore your oral health.