Oral Pathology

Oral pathology, or oral medicine and pathology, is an oral health specialty that involves treating conditions and disorders of the mouth and lower facial structures. For instance, patients with a history of certain congenital disorders, or who experience oral health issues with no clear cause, may benefit from oral pathology. In many cases, oral pathology involves the precise diagnosis of serious oral diseases, including periodontitis and oral cancer, among many others. If your general dentist suspects the presence of serious oral disease, then an oral pathologist can perform a soft-tissue biopsy to determine the nature and extent of the disease.

Different Factors of Oral Pathology

Many patients can experience dental discomfort for years without knowing why. Constant tooth pain may cause them to believe that they’re prone to cavities, even though their teeth show no indications of significant decay. In such cases, an oral pathologist can perform an expert evaluation to determine if another underlying cause, such as a nerve disorder, may be the reason for chronic discomfort.

Besides complicated oral health concerns, oral pathologists are also specially trained in matters that involve your soft oral tissues. When your dentist detects an abnormality such as a lesion, ulcer, or rough patch of tissue, it could indicate oral cancer, or it may be a sign of something less sinister. To know for sure, your dentist can refer you to an oral pathologist who can perform a soft-tissue biopsy and work with other specialists to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

When It’s Time to Visit a Specialist

While most general dentists can help you keep your oral health in excellent condition, there may be certain circumstances where general dental examinations and care will not suffice. After careful observation, your dentist may refer to a specialist such as an oral pathologist to ensure that you receive the highest quality care available. If necessary, your oral pathologist will work closely with your primary dentist to develop a long-term treatment plan that optimizes your oral and overall health.