Your oral health is a reflection of your overall well-being, and it's essential to stay informed and proactive. Let's delve into the importance of understanding oral pathology and ensuring a healthy mouth.
At our practice, we believe that knowledge is the key to maintaining optimal health, and we strive to provide you with the best information to help you stay informed about the condition of your mouth. This includes understanding what oral pathology is, the importance of your oral tissues, and how to perform a self-exam. By taking a proactive approach, we can effectively identify potential issues before they become serious concerns.
Whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker, understanding oral pathology is crucial to maintain your overall well-being. If you notice any anomalies or symptoms we describe, don’t hesitate to contact our Sacramento, CA office immediately. We’re here to support your oral health and ensure you receive the care you need.
What Is Oral Pathology?
The field of oral pathology focuses on studying and understanding various lesions and diseases that affect the oral cavity. While often overlooked, the importance of the mouth cannot be underestimated. Its normal functioning is crucial, as it enables us to perform essential functions, such as:
- Speaking or singing
- Eating or swallowing
- Projecting social appearance or cosmetics
- Expressing emotions nonverbally
- Picking up on dehydration via a dry mouth
Should I Perform A Self-Exam?
For us to carry out everyday functions that we often overlook, numerous structures in the oropharynx must work together harmoniously. An integral part of maintaining optimal oral health is performing regular self-examinations. During a self-exam, it is vital to thoroughly observe the following structures for any indications of abnormalities:
- Lips (should have a smooth texture): The color may vary depending on ethnicity
- Teeth: They should be white, free from decay or dark spots
- Gingiva (gums): Firmly attached to the teeth, they should be pink and firm
- Gingiva beyond the firmly attached area: It should be smooth, pink, and movable
- Hard and Soft Palates: They should appear pink
- Posterior oro-pharynx: It should be pink
- Tongue: it should be soft, pink, and without any ulcers, growths, or painful areas
So What Is Normal & What Is Abnormal?
In general, healthy gums (gingiva) should exhibit the following characteristics:
- Their color should appear pink.
- They should possess a firm and smooth texture.
If you notice or encounter any of the following symptoms in your mouth, it may indicate an underlying issue:
- White, red, or dark areas in the mouth
- Firm growths in the mouth
- Bleeding areas in the mouth
- Ulcerated areas in the mouth
- Pain or soreness in the mouth or throat
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Change in voice
- Unusual growth of upper or lower jaw bones
- Tingling or numbness or loss of mobility in tongue or lips and gingiva
- Decrease in saliva
The oral cavity is susceptible to various issues, but none as concerning as cancer. It is important to note that cancer can occur in both smokers and non-smokers alike. The most alarming aspect is that, in most cases, there is no discomfort associated with the condition. For that reason, if any symptoms or abnormalities are present, it is highly advised to immediately contact our office and schedule an appointment to have the abnormality examined.
Our dedicated team of oral and cosmetic surgeons is committed to providing exceptional care. Don’t hesitate to call our Sacramento, CA office today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in maintaining optimal oral health.