You may not have heard this term before, but oral pathology encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases here at Lehigh Valley Oral Surgery and Implant Center. The process for diagnosis and treatments will vary from patient to patient, as certain types of oral diseases will manifest differently for each patient. The most important step, however, is to consult with Dr. Ahmed Chaudhry about your condition, in order to determine what the next steps should be.
What Does Oral Pathology Include?
Oral pathology includes the diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases such as oral cancer, TMJ, gum disease, tongue diseases, and more. It can also include treatments for dysfunctions with the salivary glands, facial muscles, and more, but varies for each individual’s need.
Here at Lehigh Valley Oral Surgery and Implant Center, we strive to help our patients get the help they need for their oral ailments. If you have noticed something abnormal about your oral health, or have been told that you have an abnormality, consult with Dr. Chaudhry as soon as possible. We will use our advanced, in-house technology to scan the area, as well as perform a visual exam on your mouth, jaw, and throat areas. Once the abnormality has been identified, Dr. Chaudhry will meet with you to discuss the extent of your abnormality and what treatments should be explored. Oral surgery may be an option to remove these abnormalities.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer develops when cancer cells begin growing out of control in the mouth, which includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, the teeth, the gums, most of the tongue, the bottom of the mouth, and the bony roof of your mouth, or the hard palate.
More than 90 percent of all oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, meaning they form in the flat, thin squamous cells that line the mouth and throat.
Who is most at risk for oral cancer?
People who are frequent tobacco users are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who don’t use tobacoo. When it comes to smokers, 8 out of every 10 oral cancer patients have a history of smoking. Oral cancer is also commonly seen in patients who heavily consume alcohol, with more than 21 drinks consumed weekly. Finally, people with a history of human papillomavirus infections are at greater risk to develop oral cancer even if they don’t smoke or drink.
Biopsies with Dr. Chaudhry
Dr. Chaudhry is highly trained to observe any unnatural changes in your oral health, but oftentimes these abnormalities cannot be determined at first glance. An oral tissue biopsy is when samples of the lesions are taken for further studying if it cannot be determined right away what the cause is. These samples are then diagnosed and indicate to the care provider what the next steps should be. A biopsy also helps determine if the lesion is malignant, a term meaning that it could ulcerated or affixed to other tissues.
A biopsy will be recommended if the area of concern has changed since your last visit to the dentist. However, if that area has remained the same for five years or more, it is most likely not malignant or does not require any intervention.
Early Detection at Home
One of the first lines of defense is yourself. If you notice any sudden and unusual changes in your oral health, such as the symptoms listed below, contact Lehigh Valley Oral Surgery and Implant Center right away for an evaluation. Take a look below at some common symptoms and contact us if you experience the following:
Unexplained sores, lumps, or thickened tissue areas in your mouth and tongue
- Red or white lesions on your tissues
- Lumps or feeling something stuck in your throat
- Pain or tenderness
- Trouble opening or closing your jaw or moving your tongue
- Prolonged sore throat
- Difficulty speaking normally or prolonged hoarseness
- Unusually loose teeth without cause
How can I prevent oral cancer?
The American Cancer Society recommends a comprehensive oral evaluation and soft tissue exam annually. These examinations are often included in your routine dental visits. Your dentist is trained to perform oral cancer screenings, consisting of evaluating the mouth, neck, and head. Oral cancer screenings are painless, effective, and quick.
Consult with Dr. Chaudhry in Bethlehem, PA
Don’t leave unusual changes in your mouth alone: the sudden appearance of lesions, swelling, and more could be signs of malignant oral diseases that need to be addressed. We proudly serve patients in Bethlehem, PA and beyond, and believe that your oral health is pivotal. Contact us to consult with Dr. Chaudhry and receive the comprehensive care and diagnostic treatments you deserve.
If you have recently undergone a biopsy, be sure to adhere to the following post-care instructions from Dr. Chaudhry: Biopsy Aftercare
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