Any number of abnormalities, such as bumps, lumps, or lesions may develop in the soft tissues oral cavity or in the jaw bones and joints. In some cases, those unusual clusters of cells are harmless, but for other patients, they may be a signal of a serious disease, such as an infection or oral cancer.
Specifically, oral pathology is the discipline that focuses on the diagnosis of oral diseases through various forms of examination.
When a patient or a dentist spots a sign of potential trouble, the patient’s next visit may be with an oral surgeon, who can remove a tissue sample that is then sent to a lab for biopsy.
That trip to the oral surgeon is the patient’s initial entry into the dental specialty of oral pathology.
Specifically, oral pathology is the discipline that focuses on the diagnosis of oral diseases through various forms of examination. When an oral pathologist identifies the underlying mechanism of the disease, those findings can then point to the most effective treatment for the condition.
Oral pathology is generally divided into two categories, surgical and clinical. With surgical pathology, a tissue sample is removed surgically and then examined under a microscope to identify the cellular changes that have led to the condition.
Some oral diseases and conditions may not necessitate a surgical biopsy, so another aspect of oral pathology involves clinical examination. An oral pathology specialist might rely heavily on a visual examination, radiology or other techniques in uncovering the causes of conditions such as facial pain, fungal infections or oral ulcers, among others.
Oral pathologists gain further knowledge in the field by completing a post-graduate residency after finishing dental school. This experience gives them the opportunity for in-depth study of the processes involved in various oral diseases.
Some oral diseases are merely inconvenient or uncomfortable, while others are potentially life-threatening. If you have noticed a symptom or an unusual spot or lesion in your mouth that may indicate a problem, take advantage of the specialty of oral pathology. The process will help shed light on your condition and determine an appropriate treatment.
To learn more and to schedule your consultation in the Dallas TX area, contact Northern Texas Facial & Oral Surgery today.