Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology represents a dental specialty that identifies and manages diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions and investigates the causes, processes and effects of these diseases. It is primarily concerned with diseases of oral and paraoral structures, including oral soft tissues and mucous membranes and the teeth, jaws, and salivary glands. The oral and maxillofacial pathologists at Front Range Dental Center in Fort Collins, Colorado are uniquely trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of oral diseases and can rapidly identify any connections between these conditions and wider systemic diseases.
Oral Pathology seeks to address the following:
- Congenital Oral Disorders
- Periodontal Disorders
- Dental Disorders
- Lip Disorders
- Jaw Disorders
- Oral Neoplasia
- Developmental Cysts
- Tongue Disorders
Some symptoms that may indicate a problem include:
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- Persistent bad breath or persistent bad taste in your mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Discoloration of skin inside your mouth
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Teeth that have shifted or loosened
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Thickening of skin inside your mouth
- Red, puffy gums
- Gum tenderness or pain
- Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Gums that have separated from your teeth
- Teeth or gums that are very sensitive to heat and cold
The most serious potential condition is oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7000 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Oral cancer is a pathologic process, which begins by producing no symptoms making it hard to recognize without an exam. There are many types of oral cancer, including teratoma, adenocarcinoma and melanoma. Oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat), can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. There are many other places in which oral cancers occur, including: the tongue, salivary glands, throat, gums, and face.
An oral cancer examination is completely painless. Front Range Dental Center will look for abnormalities and feel the face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. Other equipment may be used to highlight pathologic changes, and can scan below the surface for legions invisible to the naked eye. Some of the signs that will be investigated are red patches on the floor of the mouth or the front of the tongue, and bleeding sores which fail to heal. A hardened white/gray lesion which may be slightly raised inside the mouth may also be sign of cancer. Soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal problems as well, and will be thoroughly examined by the expert staff at Front Range Dental Center.
If abnormalities, lesions, lumps, or leukoplakia are apparent, Front Range Dental Center will implement a treatment plan that is right for you. Do not ignore the symptoms. If you have any of the above symptoms timely action may be critical. Please call Front Range Dental Center today at (970) 673-7321.