Do you want to learn more about oral pathology along with some common oral diseases? If yes, you should check out this helpful guide.
But that’s not all. About one-third of all people ages 65 to 74 have no natural teeth, reports the FDI World Dental Federation.
From cavities to oral cancer, dental diseases are extremely common and affect millions of people. Some of these disorders, such as cleft lip and palate, are genetic, while others result from poor oral hygiene and other lifestyle factors.
Oral pathology, a branch of dentistry, has the role to study and diagnose these diseases. If your dentist suspects that you have a disorder affecting your mouth, teeth, face, or neck, he may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial pathologist.
Interested to learn more? Here is what you should about oral pathology and the most common dental diseases.
What Is Oral Pathology and Why Does It Matter?
Many oral diseases are diagnosed in late stages when the available treatment options are limited. This could explain why so many adults lose their teeth long before reaching their senior years.
Early diagnosis is paramount — and that’s where oral pathology comes in.
This specialty of dentistry studies the causes and clinical signs of various diseases affecting the teeth, jaws, lips, and parts of the neck and face. It’s also responsible for researching the many treatment options and diagnostic tests.
Oral pathologists specialize in a wide range of disorders, from dental cavities to rare diseases with few or no clinical signs. These may include:
- Cleft lip and palate
- Torus mandibularis
- Stafne defect
- Herpes simplex
- Oral cancer
- Sjögren syndrome
- Burning mouth syndrome
Medical professionals who specialize in this field work closely with dentists and oral surgeons to diagnose and treat dental diseases. If you are referred to an oral pathologist, he or she may perform additional tests, such as a biopsy, to determine the root cause of your problem.
Common Oral Diseases You Should Know About
Oral pathology focuses on diseases and injuries affecting the oral cavity. Some disorders, such as gingivitis, are extremely common, which is why researchers are trying to find the best treatment options.
Herpes simplex virus, for example, affects about two-thirds of all people under 50, according to the World Health Organization. Some forms of the virus cause infection in or around the mouth. Suffers may develop painful blisters and experience itching, tingling, and other symptoms.
Another common oral disease is gingivitis. If left unaddressed, it can lead to severe periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Gingivitis causes your gums to become swollen and red. At this stage, it’s still possible to reverse it with daily flossing and brushing.
Oral cancer is increasingly common too. This life-threatening disease may affect your gums, lips, tongue, and other tissues of the oral cavity. Like most oral disorders, it can be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and alcohol.
Prevention Is Your Best Defense
As mentioned above, most oral diseases are preventable. Others, however, may have genetic causes or result from other conditions. Either way, early diagnosis will ensure that you get the treatment you need for healthy teeth and gums.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Our team has years of experience in oral pathology and maxillofacial surgery. Contact us today to find the root cause of your symptoms and establish the best course of action!