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Tongue with bluish red bump.
Reddish bump on tongue.

Oral Pathology

Detection & Treatment for Oral Cancer & Disease

Oral pathology is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing and treating oral disease and oral cancer. Many people do not realize they have oral disease because they do not notice any symptoms, which is why regular oral cancer screenings and dental appointments are important. This way, any changes in the mouth can be addressed and treatment can begin as soon as possible.

Our surgeons perform oral cancer screenings and oral biopsies at Akeso Oral, Facial & Dental Implant Surgery to determine the nature of a pathological process. We will create a custom treatment plan to treat the pathological process and improve your oral health and function. Contact our practice in Columbia, Catonsville, Lutherville, and Westminster, MD, to schedule your oral cancer screening or if you have noticed any changes in or around your mouth that may indicate a pathological process.

Signs of a Pathological Process

The soft tissue of the mouth is lined with a smooth, pink-colored mucosa. Any changes in the color or texture of this mucosa could indicate the beginning of a pathological process. You should perform a self-examination once a month to look for any changes in or around your mouth. Most changes in the mouth are not cancerous, but it’s important to have the abnormality examined by an expert to rule out oral cancer.

If you notice any of these signs, you should contact our office for an evaluation:

  • Changes in the color of the lips, cheeks, tongue, palate, face, or neck
  • Red or white patches
  • An oral sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A lump, thickening, or rough spot
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness on the lips or in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or speaking
  • Difficulty fully moving the tongue or jaw
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Teeth seem to fit together differently

It’s important to note that oral disease does not always cause pain. Many people with oral cancer are unaware they have it until the issue has become more severe, which makes treatment more complicated. Be sure to attend regular dental appointments where your general dentist will screen for oral cancer and refer you to a specialist if needed. You can schedule an oral cancer screening at our practice by contacting one of our offices.

Types of Pathological Processes

Pathological processes can affect the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, palate, floor of the mouth, and salivary glands and range in severity and symptoms. Some types of pathological conditions include:

Geographic Tongue (Benign Migratory Glossitis or Erythema Migrans)

The tongue is missing papillae, or small bumps, in different areas, causing a map-like appearance and often red areas on the sides of the tongue.

Median Palatal Cyst

This fluid-filled sac usually appears in the middle of the palate and can cause discomfort.

Black Hairy Tongue

Bacteria or a yeast infection in the mouth causes the tongue to appear hairy and black. This condition is usually a result of poor oral hygiene, antibiotic use, or radiation treatment.

Candidiasis (Thrush)

A fungal overgrowth causes red bumps or white patches to appear inside the mouth.

Herpes of the Mouth

This highly contagious condition causes fever blisters or cold sores in the mouth.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer may not cause noticeable symptoms at first but can be life-threatening if left untreated.

There are many other types of pathological processes that can affect the oral and maxillofacial region. The sooner these conditions are treated, even if they are non-cancerous, the better the outcome.

Treatment for Oral Cancer and Pathological Diseases

During your first visit, we will evaluate your oral health and may take 3D scans to detect hidden health concerns. If necessary, we will take a biopsy of the affected area to send to a lab for a diagnosis. We often use local anesthesia when taking a biopsy, but offer many anesthesia options for your comfort. The biopsy results will determine the right type of treatment for your condition.

Treatment for oral disease may include antibiotics, creams, or antifungal medication. If there is a benign growth or tumor, we may perform surgery to remove it completely. If oral cancer is present, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

Types of Anesthesia

There are many types of anesthesia and sedation options available to you.

Oral Pathology & Oral Cancer Screenings in Columbia, Catonsville, Lutherville, and Westminster, MD

Recognizing and treating a pathological process early will protect your oral and overall health. If you have noticed any changes in or around your mouth, or if it’s time for an oral cancer screening from a dental expert, contact Akeso Oral, Facial & Dental Implant Surgery to schedule an appointment. We offer oral cancer screenings and oral pathology treatment at our offices in Columbia, Catonsville, Lutherville, and Westminster, MD.

Committed to Patient Care & Clinical Excellence

As a patient at Akeso Oral, Facial & Dental Implant Surgery, you can expect to receive the highest level of care from a team centered around your needs. We proudly serve patients of all ages in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan areas and invite you to contact us to schedule your appointment.