The evaluation and treatment of the tissues and bones of the oral and facial structures from a range of normal to cancer are skills in the special area of oral pathology. Often it is the General Dentist or Hygienist that notes a change or abnormal appearance of the tissues of the oral cavity and gingiva. The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth, moist and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. Evaluation of the tissues involve examination, photographs and frequently a biopsy for examination under a microscope. Radiographs may also be used for changes or abnormal signs. The following can be signs of the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
Early evaluation and treatment are the most important recommendations for any suspected pathologic condition.