Oral pathology, or more fully “oral and maxillofacial pathology”, is a field of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, study, and treatment of diseases, anomalies, and injuries of the oral cavity. It is a specialty that focuses on the mouth, jaw, salivary glands, and the skin around the mouth. Oral pathologists are experts in detecting and treating conditions related to these areas. If you have pain, bleeding, or any other unusual symptoms in your mouth, an oral pathologist can help you find answers.
In the United Kingdom, oral and maxillofacial pathologists are employed by schools of dentistry or medicine and perform their clinical work in university hospitals. The worst diseases of oral pathology are oral injuries and cancer, but even these can be treated if detected in the early stages. Jeffrey Sevor, DMD, of Central Florida Periodontics & Implantology recommends that people examine their mouths for any signs of oral pathology. The American Dental Association (ADA) uses the term “oral and maxillofacial pathology” to describe this specialty.
By detecting developing oral problems early on, oral pathologists can make treatment as simple and effective as possible and prevent oral diseases from affecting other areas of the body. Common pathologies that may affect the oral and maxillofacial region include herpes simplex virus type 1, candidiasis (or thrush), hairy black tongue, and oral cancer. Oral pathology takes into account your personal health history to consider what existing medical conditions might specifically affect you. If you have an illness or injury in your mouth, oral pathology can help you turn your oral health back into a condition that you can smile about.