Oral Pathology - Flower Mound, TX
What Changes Can Indicate a Problem?
During your regularly scheduled dental exams, your general dentist checks your soft tissues for signs of pathological issues. However, these symptoms do not always wait until your exams to show up. Getting any abnormality that shows up checked out as soon as possible is essential. Abnormalities include:
|•||White patches, or Leukoplakia. This is a reaction to chronic irritation. It is often caused by rubbing from braces, dentures, or other restorations, although it can also be a sign of oral cancer.
|•||Red patches, or erythroplasia. The exact cause is unknown but can indicate oral cancer.
|•||Tissue that becomes thicker. An overproduction of cells can cause tissue to become thicker. This could potentially be a cancerous growth.
|•||Trouble chewing, breathing and swallowing.
|•||Changes to your voice.|
Oral cancer is the most serious pathological disease. It affects approximately 40,000 Americans each year and can strike anywhere in the mouth. If not detected, and treated, early, it can be fatal. Of those diagnosed, approximately only half survive past five years. This makes scheduling an appointment as soon as you notice a change in your oral tissues critical.
Other Pathological Issues
Oral cancer is the most serious pathological disease, but it is not the only one. Other pathological issues include:
|•||Geographic tongue. This is a condition in which sections of papillae (the tiny bumps on your tongue) are missing. These sections, which create a map-like appearance, can become red and irritated.
|•||Hairy tongue. Hairy tongue is an overgrowth of bacteria that causes your tongue to appear black and hairy in appearance. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene as well as overuse of antibiotics.
|•||Median palatal cysts. Cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs, often form as a result of an infection. They are noncancerous but can be very painful. These particular cysts develop in the roof of your mouth.|
Diagnosing Your Pathological Issues
If you notice any abnormalities, it is important to schedule an appointment right away. We begin by examining the inside of your mouth. If we find anything odd, we then move on to a detailed examination. This may include taking X-rays, as well as performing a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a section of the abnormalities to examine them under a microscope. It is our best tool for diagnosing or ruling out oral cancer.
Treating Oral Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with oral cancer, we will then work with you to determine the next steps that need to be taken. You may be recommended for surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Before treatment, other oral health issues need to be addressed. This will help to reduce post-treatment complications. Getting prompt treatment will help to increase your chances of success.
Changes in your mucosa will not conveniently wait for your next scheduled dental exam. If you notice any changes to the soft tissues in your mouth, don’t ignore them or wait until your next visit. Call DFW Oral Surgeons right away at (972) 539-1491.