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Early detection of an oral abnormality or disease, such as cancer, aids in successful treatments and cures. Patients need dental solutions designed to identify and address comprehensive dental needs, including diagnosing and treating more serious oral diseases.
At Atlanta Smiles, we have extensive experience in oral pathology, which empowers our team to treat patients with a variety of oral health conditions. Our full spectrum approach improves oral health and enhances overall wellness.
What Is Oral Pathology?
Oral pathology is the branch of dentistry that diagnoses and treats diseases of the mouth, lower jaws, head, and neck areas. Oral pathology addresses gum disease, infectious mouth sores, oral cancer, oral thrush, periodontal disease, and other problems.
What Does the Dentist Examine as Part of an Oral Pathology Exam?
The dentist will examine your teeth, gums, tongue, lips, cheeks, jawline, face, neck, salivary glands, and lymph nodes for signs of any abnormalities. The dentist may also perform a visual examination of your mouth, throat, nose, ears, eyes, and skin.
If you have recently developed persistent bad breath, fungal infections, or mouth sores, you may be experiencing or at risk of oral disease. Patients developing oral cancer may also notice recurring mouth pain, ulcerous lesions, difficulty swallowing and moving the mouth, a sore throat, and more.
What Conditions Does Oral Pathology Treat?
Oral pathology can diagnose and treat many different oral disorders and diseases.
- Oral cancers
- Sore throats
- Mouth sores and ulcers
- Fungus infections, like oral thrush
- Diseases of the mouth and lips
- Periodontal disease
- Gum disease
- Infectious diseases
Oral Pathology Treatment Solutions
Effective oral pathology begins with detection. We have extensive experience identifying oral diseases. Once diagnosed, we take the time to understand your concerns, goals, and lifestyle to create a customized plan to improve your oral health. Our oral pathology solutions include diagnosis, preventative care, pain management, and other treatments based on each unique condition.
If we suspect oral cancer, our treatment may include a biopsy. However, treatment for oral thrush may consist of antifungal medication. Oral pathology encompasses a wide range of conditions. Patients need expert care to properly diagnose and treat oral diseases, like the experienced dental team at Atlanta Smiles. We provide exceptional patient-centered care.
Oral Cancer Screening and Treatment
Our dentists perform an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular dental checkup to assist with early diagnosis and treatment. These screenings only take a few minutes and can be fundamental to your long-term oral and general health.
During the oral cancer screening, our dentists will examine the following areas for suspicious changes in growths or abnormalities:
- Mouth palate
- Face, head, neck, and jaw
- Lips and the inside lining of the lips
- Tongue and the floor of the mouth
If your dentist detects an abnormality, they may recommend performing a small biopsy. We will then send the results to a professional lab for clinical diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan based on the findings.
Indicators of Oral Cancer and Other Diseases
While we look for warning signs of oral cancer and other diseases during regular dental checkups, patients can also be aware of potential indicators.
- Unexplained or ongoing sore throat or changes in voice
- Persistent bad breath
- Difficulty swallowing
- Painful chewing or eating
- Swelling or redness around the mouth or eyes
- Changes in the appearance of the mouth or face
- Unusual bleeding from the gums or under the tongue
- Fever or weight loss
- A lump or thickening in the neck area
- Numbness or tingling in the mouth or tongue
- Red or white patches in the mouth
If you notice any warning signs for oral disease, you do not need to wait until your next dental checkup. Instead, contact Atlanta Smiles right away to schedule an examination.
Risks Factors for Oral Cancer
Some patients have a higher risk of developing oral cancers. Patients with risk factors may benefit from more frequent dental checkups. For some risk factors, like tobacco use, changes in behavior may lower the patient’s risk of developing cancer or another disease.
- Tobacco use, like smoking and smokeless tobacco
- Alcohol use
- Excessive sun exposure
- Human Papillomavirus (HPA)
- Patient cancer history or family cancer history
We can help you manage these risks by providing effective prevention strategies and recommending appropriate care options.
Early prevention is key to effective treatment. As with any disease, when patients postpone treatment, symptoms can worsen. However, especially with cancer, early detection improves outcomes.
If we find an issue outside of the scope of our treatment solutions, we recommend the next course of action. For example, we may recommend an appointment with an oncologist. Our goal is to provide effective treatment solutions to maintain or restore patient health. We have decades of experience successfully identifying and treating patients with oral pathology.
The most significant benefit of working with a dentist experienced in oral pathology is early detection.
- Accurate referrals for care
- Improved oral health
- Slow disease progression
- Effective treatment solutions
- Preventative measures to reduce risk of future problems
- Improve the quality of life and overall wellness
There are many ways to prevent oral disease. The most important thing is to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Brush twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and floss once per day. Avoid tobacco products, limit alcohol use, and reduce sun exposure. Also, schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning. We recommend preventative appointments every six months.
Prevent, Detection, and Management of Oral Disease
At Atlanta Smiles, we specialize in oral disease and other areas of comprehensive dentistry. Our team has extensive training and experience in diagnosing and managing a wide range of conditions. For over 20 years, we’ve provided effective dentistry solutions for patients in the Atlanta area.
Our expert dental team offers the best possible treatment options, including oral pathology. We stay up-to-date on the latest technology and medical advances.
To learn more about oral pathology and preventative treatment, schedule a consultation with Atlanta Smiles.