Dentists regularly perform an oral exam during the course of an initial comprehensive exam and regular check-ups. The identification of diseases relating to the maxillofacial and oral areas is called an oral cancer exam.
Mucosa is the lining inside of the mouth that appears smooth in texture and pink in color. Any change of the color or texture of the mucosa generally signals the beginning of a pathologic progression. These changes may arise on the face, neck, and areas of the mouth.
Oral Cancer: Includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, etc. and can be life threatening if not treated immediately.
Geographic Tongue: A condition where the tongue is missing papillae (small bumps).
Median Palatal Cyst: This rare cyst may occur along the median palatal raphe and produce a swelling caused by infection.
Hairy Tongue: An overgrowth of bacteria or a yeast infection in the mouth, which can potentially lead to the tongue to look hairy and black.
Treating & Managing Pathological Diseases
Although pathological changes may be extremely uncomfortable, they are not life threatening. Unfortunately, oral cancer is affecting more and more people annually and can be life threatening.
As for pathological diseases that are not as serious as oral cancer, patients can generally use antibiotics, diluted hydrogen peroxide, or oral surgery.