Your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems for disease. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to symptoms that alert you to potentially severe infections or diseases. If you notice sores, discolored patches, abnormal lumps, or other symptoms in your mouth, you should consult your dentist or an oral surgeon for assessment of whether you’re dealing with oral pathology.
At Oral Surgery on Merivale in Ottawa, ON, we provide oral pathology and oral surgery services to patients throughout the area. Dr. Wayne is highly trained, and he and his expert team will diagnose and treat your oral pathology so that you can recover your health in the event of dental disease or oral cancer.
What Are Oral Pathologies?
Broadly, oral and maxillofacial pathologies refer to diseases in your mouth, jaw, and related structures such as the temporomandibular joints, salivary glands, muscles of the face, and skin surrounding the mouth. Any abnormalities in these areas may indicate that you’re dealing with some type of infection or disease. The most severe type of pathology is oral cancer.
Paying attention to the signals your body is sending you and catching any oral pathologies early on is key to providing more effective treatment for your condition.
Signs of Oral Pathology
Your mouth has a special type of smooth, pink-coloured skin known as the mucosa. Any type of abnormality in the mucosa, either in appearance or texture, may be a warning sign that a pathological process is taking place, the most serious of which would be oral cancer.
Some of the early signs that a cancerous or pathological process is occurring include:
- A sore that bleeds easily and fails to heal
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Bumps and/or thickening on the inner lining of your mouth
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) in your mouth
- Whitish patches (leukoplakia) in your mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
If you notice any of these symptoms on the cheeks, lips, tongue, palate, or tissue surrounding the teeth, you should schedule an appointment. As one of the body’s most important warning systems of disease, you should never ignore suspicious sores in or around the mouth.
Oral Cancer Treatment
Oral cancer is the most serious type of oral or maxillofacial pathology. Oral cancer, or mouth cancer, refers to any type of cancer that develops on the areas in or around the mouth, including the lips, gums, tongue, or cheek lining. The process for determining whether you’re dealing with oral cancer is similar to diagnosing other oral pathologies and involves a thorough examination. If we suspect you may be dealing with oral cancer, we may remove a sample of tissue for a biopsy to test the cells for cancer.
Treatment for oral cancer varies depending on the stage and location of the cancer. Some of the treatment options available for oral cancer include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Surgery options include surgery to remove cancer cells and surgery to reconstruct your mouth following tumour removal. Our team at Oral Surgery on Merivale will discuss all of your options with you and refer you to a specialist for further treatment if necessary.