The mucosa, more commonly known as the inside lining of the mouth, is smooth and pink in color when healthy. Many people don’t realize the importance of monitoring the texture and color of this lining because it’s often the first area to show symptoms of an oral pathology. The term oral pathology encompasses any infection or disease process. Most commonly, oral pathologies are benign, which means they are non-cancerous. It’s still important to visit an oral surgeon, however, if you notice symptoms of a condition spreading or worsening.
Symptoms of an Oral Pathology
With how much and how often we use our mouths, they are in constant contact with bacteria and are prone to minor injuries, which makes them very susceptible to infection and other diseases. The best way to stay on top of your oral health is to attend regular checkups with your dentist, who can identify any developing conditions should they arise. Additionally, you should monitor your own health at home by keeping an eye out for suspicious warning signs, including the following:
- Bleeding sores that don’t get better
- White or red patches on the cheeks, tongue, lips, or gums
- Swelling that does not decrease or disappear
- Change in the texture, color, or shape of the mucosa
- Lumps on the neck or in the mouth
Any change in the mucosa is often the first sign of an oral pathology, and it’s important to contact our office if you notice any of the above symptoms.
Types of Oral Pathology
Failing to care for your mouth properly is a common cause of an oral pathological process. Other times, oral pathologies are genetic or inherited and are no fault of anyone. The most common oral pathologies that develop include
- Dental infections, which may be bacterial, viral or fungal
- Chronic ulcerations or traumatic lesions
- Salivary gland disease
- Oral cysts and tumors
- Oral cancer
Oral Pathology Treatment at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Illinois
If you suspect an oral pathology is developing in your mouth or have noticed any symptoms, contact one of our office locations in Springfield, Decatur, Jacksonville, or Litchfield, IL. Our doctors are extensively trained in the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery and can develop a personalized treatment plan to treat your specific needs.