Oral pathology involves 2 main specialty areas of dentistry: diagnoses & management of mouth health issues; and treatment of individuals with serious dental health issues. As periodontists at this practice, we take this element of our work very seriously in all dealings with our patients.
The best advice I can give to any individual (and that you could pass on to those you care about) is to please visit your dentist or periodontist for regular oral check-ups – even if you don’t feel you have a dental problem. Generally dental decay, visible gum problems like bleeding gums, painful oral conditions, and halitosis (bad breath) will move people to seek professional help. However – there are oral conditions that do not show symptoms till very late or sometimes too late e.g. in the case of oral cancer, and systemic disease (a disease that affects the whole body or a few organs and tissues in the body). The doctors at our offices take heed of studies that have recognized that oral infections may be related to systemic diseases like bacterial pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and low birth weight. Early diagnosis of any kind of oral infection is therefore paramount as a preventative measure for your health and to ensure effective treatment.
Here is a guide of visible signs that you should pay us a visit:
Oral surface lesions:
If you have a sore anywhere in your mouth that has not cleared in 10 days, make an appointment so that we can make sure it’s not pre-cancerous or cancerous. Also look out for sores that are grey or white with a red circle around it.
If you have a swelling in your mouth that is not going away or that keeps recurring, consult us; also to ensure it is not cancerous.
If you have red and swollen gums that bleed easily, you could have Gingivitis. Although Gingivitis is easily treated and does not affect bone in the mouth, it should be treated as it could develop into Periondititis.
Loose teeth or places where the gum has pulled away from the teeth:
Loose teeth could be a sign of Periondititis. This gum infection or disease may have caused bone destruction in the jaw, leading to your teeth being able to move. They could really eventually fall out. Periondititis means you have a lot of harmful bacteria in your mouth, and you should definitely consult with us if you think you might have it.