What is Oral Pathology?

Oral pathology involves the detection of abnormalities and conditions of the oral and maxillofacial region. With thorough examinations and the use of diagnostic technology, Great River oral surgeons can diagnose a range of congenital conditions such as cleft lips and palates along with viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Oral pathology is also used to detect and treat cancers of the oral cavity.


How can I be more proactive when it comes to my oral health?

It starts with consistent visits to your dentist. Your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. Additionally, you should perform an oral self-exam each month. An oral examination is performed using a bright light and a mirror.

When performing a self-examination:

  • Remove any dentures
  • Look and feel inside the lips and the front of gums
  • Tilt head back to inspect and feel the roof of your mouth
  • Pull the cheek out to see its inside surface as well as the back of the gums
  • Pull out your tongue and look at all of its surfaces
  • Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) in both sides of the neck including under the lower jaw


What am I looking for?

  • White patches of the oral tissues — leukoplakia
  • Red patches — erythroplakia
  • Red and white patches — erythroleukoplakia
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • An abnormal lump or thickening of the tissues of the mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
  • A mass or lump in the neck


If you notice a change in the color or texture of the tissue inside your mouth, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us.

Depending on the nature of your condition, your oral pathology treatment options vary significantly. Our oral surgery team works diligently to ensure that patients receive quality oral healthcare and the best treatment for their needs. To schedule an examination with one of our skilled oral surgeons, contact our office today.