Oral pathology is the study, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases associated with oral care, including teeth, joints, gums, glands, bones, skin, and muscles around the mouth. Some specific conditions that negatively impact your oral health can include cavities, gum diseases, and other unwanted situations that hamper your oral-facial system responsible for smiling, speaking, and chewing.
Listed below are the four common oral diseases that pathologists diagnose and treat to offer the best care to their patients:
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1
The presence of fever blisters or cold sores in the mouth can indicate herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). It is a typical, highly contagious disease that can quickly spread via sharing utensils, lip balm, beverages, and kissing. Moreover, it can also spread from skin-to-skin contact without showing the symptoms. However, the signs of HSV-1 are more likely to be identifiable when it is first developed. These can include:
- Swollen, red, or painful blisters on your lips, tongue, or face.
- A burning, tingling, or itching sensation on or around your lips.
- Sores on your genitalia.
While there is no specific treatment for HSV-1, as these sores are known to get away on their own, you can always consult a reputed professional pathologist near you to get the best help.
Candidiasis or oral thrush is a fungal overgrowth resulting in white patches or red bumps inside your mouth. Its treatment can include addressing the issue that caused it in the first place or using antifungal medication.
- Weekend immunity
- If you wear dentures or suffering from conditions that cause dry mouth
- Consumption of certain medications like inhaled corticosteroids, prednisone, or antibiotics disrupts the natural balance of microorganisms in your body.
Black hairy tongue
While as scary as it may sound, this condition is what its name indicates. This disease makes the patient’s tongue look like it grows black hair (not practically). However, the actual situation relates to collecting dead skin cells on the papillae, making them longer than their standard length. These long papillae are prone to staining by anything you consume, resulting in black coloring. Additionally, the other signs may include:
- Bad breath
- Change in taste
- The long papillae may also cause a tickling or gagging sensation
Although this condition does not sound relaxing, the good news is it is harmless and easily curable by eliminating the possible triggering factors and practicing oral hygiene with prior consultation with a specialist.
The primary cause of oral cancer is HPV, followed by heavy consumption of alcohol and smoking. However, as per the World Health Organization, this condition is preventable by practicing some healthy habits, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Practicing safe sex
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Limiting processed meats in your diet
- Protecting yourself from the sun
- Vaccinating yourself against HPV
- Performing oral self-exams
- Not sharing needles
- Practicing oral hygiene
- Regular checkups with your oral health specialist
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