Oral pathology can be understood as a dental specialty that deals with the study of the causes and effects of oral and dental health issues. The diseases usually involve teeth, bones, and temporomandibular joints. They can also affect the tongue, the gums, and other soft tissues found in the mouth, including the salivary glands. Although gum disease and tooth decay are the most common oral issues that people experience, there are several other conditions that can affect the mouth. Some of the issues can be treated by your family dentist, while others may call for the services of a specialist such as an oral pathologist or an oral surgeon in Alexandria, VA. Some of the dental problems that fall within the purview of oral pathology include:
Herpes Simplex Virus
If you are suffering from cold sores or fever blisters, then you could be having oral herpes, which is quite a common mouth infection. In many cases, the first bout of the virus happens during childhood, when the symptoms are most severe. The symptoms may include painful blisters inside the mouth, in the lips, and even on the face. Fever and swollen glands are also common symptoms that are associated with the virus. However, these sores finally disappear, but the virus can remain inactive in the body until it is triggered by factors such as fever, illness, stress, or sun exposure. Fortunately, you can find relief from the symptoms by getting an immediate antiviral prescription from your dental care provider.
Candidiasis is an oral problem that results from an overgrowth of the Candida fungus in a patient’s mouth. The issue is most common among the elderly, infants, and anyone who has a compromised immune system, including people who are under steroids, antibiotics, and chemotherapy treatment. The issue is also common among people who wear dentures. It usually appears as white patches inside the mouth. The white patches can get inflamed and turn red when scrapped. They can be quite painful, but they should go away within a couple of weeks with the use of antifungal medication prescribed by your dental care provider.
Oral cancer affecting the mouths, the tongue, the throat, and the lips is probably the most serious oral health problem. Luckily, in most cases, this is an issue that is preventable. In order to prevent yourself from oral cancer, it is wise for you to quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake. You should also ensure that you go in for regular cancer screening since early detection makes treatment easier.
Overall, it is apparent that in addition to gum disease and tooth decay, there are a number of oral health issues under the category of oral pathology. Luckily, most of these issues are preventable, and they can easily be treated if they are detected early. Therefore, it is imperative for you to learn about the things that you should do to enhance your oral hygiene and health. For instance, you have to brush daily and go in for regular dental checkups. In case of any unexpected discomfort or abnormality in your mouth, it is imperative for you to seek the assistance of a dentist as soon as possible.