The mouth is one of the most versatile and important organs in the body, and it is necessary for breathing, speaking, and eating. Because this organ has such a wide variety of functions and is exposed to many external environmental factors, it is at an increased risk for the development of infection.
Oral pathology is the medical term for any disease that can develop inside the mouth, jaws, or salivary glands.
There are a wide variety of oral pathological processes, including:
- Strep throat
- Oral cancer
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Herpes simplex virus
- Salivary gland disease
- Oral ulceration
- Some autoimmune diseases
If you think that you may be experiencing an oral pathological process, you may notice a change in the appearance of your mucosa. The mucosa is the smooth lining of the mouth that is coral pink in color and one of the most common areas that infection will show. Other structures that may show a change include the tonsils or tongue. Oral pathologies can result in severe complications and may require extensive surgical treatment if not identified early.
Many oral pathologies are benign, but it is important to see a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon to examine the mouth if any symptoms are present.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, this may be indicative of the development of oral pathology:
- Reddish or whitish patches in the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
If any of these symptoms are present on your lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth or tongue, face, and/or neck, you should contact one of our offices in Steele Creek or Pineville, Charlotte, NC, to schedule an oral examination with Dr. Amir Marashi. He will examine your mouth and its surrounding areas thoroughly to detect the presence of infection or disease, and a biopsy may be recommended.
If a biopsy reveals cancerous cells, surgery can be performed to remove the affected area. Radiation therapy is also sometimes used for small tumors. This involves high-energy rays that damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. Radiation can be effective before surgery by shrinking the tumor to ease removal during surgery or after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
If you have any suspicious activity on your face or in your mouth, please contact Greater Charlotte Oral & Facial Surgery to schedule a consultation.