Oral pathology services at Loudoun Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery include the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the oral and maxillofacial region. These conditions can arise in the teeth, the supportive bone, and the soft tissue of the mouth, throat, and neck.
Signs that you might have an oral condition needing treatment include the following:
-Swelling in the mouth
-Persistent dry mouth
-White or red areas in the mouth
-Lumps or bumps in the mouth, or neck
-Ulcers in the mouth
Common Oral Diseases
Herpes Simplex Virus
One of the most common dental diseases to be aware of arises from the Herpes Simplex Virus, which is often noticeable from the fever blisters or cold sores. These painful blisters can show up on your lips and face as well as inside the mouth, and they may be accompanied by swollen glands and/or a fever. These sores are contagious and will disappear over time, but the virus remains in your body and can flare up again and again because of stress, sickness, a fever or sometimes sun exposure. You can treat the symptoms with OTC (over-the-counter) medications or an antiviral prescription.
Oral apthous ulcers (canker sores)
Apthous ulcers are painful ulcerations that can occur on the tongue, lips, gums, and inner surface of the cheeks. They are autoimmune related, and can frequently be brought about by stress, illness, or trauma. They will typically resolve on their own, but can heal faster if treated with a topical steroid ointment.
Candidiasis or Thrush
Another dental disease is Candidiasis or Thrush. This condition arises because of an overgrowth of the Candida fungus inside your mouth. People most susceptible to this are those with a weakened immune system, along with infants and senior citizens. Those who have undergone chemotherapy for cancer or those who have used steroids or antibiotics are also more susceptible to this disease. Another vulnerable group includes those who wear dentures. You might notice you have oral patches that start out white and then turn red if you scrape the tissue. While they can be painful, antifungal medications can help them disappear in about one to two weeks.
A more serious oral pathological condition is oral cancer. This disease can show up anywhere in your mouth, including the tongue, lips, floor of mouth and throat. The most significant risk factors include tobacco and excessive alcohol use. Regular oral cancer screenings by your dentist can help spot this disease when it is most easily and least invasively treated, in its early stages. See your dentist for regular oral cancer screenings since early detection can help you fight the disease most effectively.
Some types of oral pathologic conditions can be diagnosed by clinical exam, while others require a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a sample of tissue and submitting it to a laboratory for microscopic examination. At Loudoun OMS, our doctors are well trained and experienced in the management of many types of oral pathologic conditions and we are happy to see you for a consultation should the need arise.