Visiting the dentist is already anxiety-inducing for many people, from the obvious discomfort of having hands in your mouth, to the nerve-wracking sounds of the equipment. This stress is only magnified when the term “oral pathology” pops up during the visit. For anyone who’s run-of-the-mill dentist visits has taken a turn towards oral pathology, there are sure to be plenty of questions swirling around as to what it all means.

Before you start spiraling down a never-ending thread of inquiries, consider asking your dentist the following big-picture questions to get a clear idea of your situation and what to expect early on.

What is Oral Pathology? 

Oral pathology deals with issues and conditions affecting your oral and maxillofacial (jaw) health. Pathology itself is defined as the science behind the causes and effects of diseases, especially in relation to the examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic purposes. Oral pathology is simply a focus on diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial region of the mouth through examination of possible causes and eventual diagnosis to slow or heal the condition.

Oral pathology not only identifies an oral disease, it also investigates the possible causes, progress and effects to research and correctly diagnose the condition. An oral pathologist might use clinical methods to diagnose a disease or condition, or they may require the assistance of radiographic, microscopic or biomedical examinations to determine the exact cause of the condition and the proper course of treatment.

Why Would I Need Oral Pathology Done?

Having a perfectly healthy mouth doesn’t always mean the jaw, salivary glands, throat or sinuses are in the functioning at the same optimal level. If you dentist suggests oral pathology, it could mean there’s a larger underlying issue at play in or mouth or jaw. Small symptoms like inflamed gums may be a sign of a bigger health problem, so your dentist may suggest oral pathology to get a clear picture of what exactly is causing those red and angry gums.

Once your oral pathologist conducts all of the necessary tests, they should have a better idea of what’s causing your condition in order to develop an accurate treatment strategy. After properly diagnosing the issue, your oral pathologist will go over your treatment options with you to be sure you fully understand what to expect. Whether your diagnosis requires oral or maxillofacial surgery, rigorous medication or a simple out-patient procedure, your dentist will walk you through the process until you’re fully aware and comfortable with your treatment plan.

Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery is Your Home for Oral Pathology Experts

At Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery, we understand the tense feeling that can come from visiting the dentist, which can be magnified when oral pathology is brought to the table. Your comfort is our top priority, which is why we’re proud to offer dental sedation for patients who struggle with feeling comfortable at the dentist.

Hearing the term “oral pathology” may trigger a sense of panic but understand that this is not an immediate cause for alarm, but rather a step back in the right direction towards a healthy mouth. If you have any questions regarding oral pathology or think you may be in need of oral pathology, give us a call at (404) 975-2706 (Buckhead) or (404) 620-6811 (Cumming), or visit us online to schedule your consultation with one of our esteemed oral pathologists, and regain your smile confidence.