You may be surprised to know that oral diseases are very common. For example, more than 50% of all Americans have some degree of periodontal (or gum) disease and around 37,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Learning about the most common oral diseases and their symptoms can help you identify them quickly and get the treatment you need.
Common oral diseases
Oral cancer can potentially be the worst of all the oral diseases. It claims more than 8,000 lives each year and has a 5-year mortality rate of 59%. The best chance of survival is to identify the cancer early on. If you are getting your teeth checked regularly then your dentist should be able to spot any signs of abnormal cells. If detected, then the oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Pinole Oral Surgery can perform a biopsy to determine the cause of the abnormality. They also can perform surgical procedures to treat the cancer.
Affecting nearly half of all Americans, oral herpes is one of the most common oral diseases. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1). It is more commonly known by the outbreak of cold sores that the virus causes. Herpes can easily be spread through the skin contact between the infectious area and broken skin. Even when symptoms are not showing the disease can spread.
There are many other types of infections that your mouth is vulnerable to. Your mouth provides an ideal environment for bacteria and viruses to thrive. It is warm, moist and contains sugars that are easily available for the bacteria to feed on. One common type of infection is thrush or Candida. This type of bacterial infection is noticeable by white or yellow patches that grow on your gums, inner cheeks or throat. It may also present itself in the form of ulcers. Although this type of infection is contagious it is treatable.
Another widespread oral health problem is gum disease also known as periodontitis. It occurs when bacteria multiply rapidly and gets between your teeth and gums. Gum disease leads to inflammation of the gums as well as recession. It is also the most common reason for adult tooth loss or bone loss in the jaw.
What are the signs of oral disease?
You can usually detect an oral disease by a change in the color of the soft tissue in your mouth. Normally a healthy mouth will have a consistent coral pink tone. Any differences could be due to an oral disease.
Some of the common signs of oral disease include:
- Thicker or raised tissue in a particular area
- Red or white patches
- Tissue that has a hairy appearance on the sides of your tongue
- Sores that don’t heal
- Bumps or lumps
- Unexplained swelling
What should I do if I think I have an oral disease?
You should make an appointment with your regular dentist if you detect any strange looking or feeling tissue inside your mouth. They will be able to examine the tissue and if they feel that it is abnormal then they can refer you to have a biopsy.
At Pinole Oral Surgery, the team of oral and maxillofacial surgeons can perform a biopsy to collect the cells for analysis. Then together with your regular dentist, they will provide the relevant treatment that you need to protect and preserve your oral and dental health.
If you need a biopsy or an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, call Pinole Oral Surgery or schedule an appointment online today.