Oral and maxillofacial pathology, also referred to as oral pathology, dental disease, stomatognatic disease or mouth disease, refers to the conditions or diseases of the mouth (stoma or oral cavity), jaw (gnath or maxillae) as well as associated structures like temporomandibular joints, salivary glands, perioral skin (skin that is around one’s mouth) as well as facial muscles. The mouth is a very important organ with a whole bunch of various functions. It’s also prone to numerous dental as well as medical disorders.
This particular specialty, oral and maxillofacial pathology, is mainly concerned with the diagnosis as well as study of the causes and effects of diseases that affect this maxillofacial and oral region. It’s at times taken to be a pathology or dentistry specialty. There are also times when the term ‘head and neck pathology’ is utilized instead, though this might be insinuating that the particular pathologist deals with otorhinolaryngologic disorders (i.e. those that relate to throat, nose and ear) in addition to the maxillofacial conditions. In this particular role, there’s some overlap between the neck and head expertise and that of pathologists of endocrine.
Example pathologies of the maxillofacial and oral region
A large number of diseases involve the jaws, orofacial skin as well as the mouth. Some example pathologies that take into account the maxillofacial and oral region are listed below. It should be noted that some of them are more common and prevalent than others and this is not the complete list as some pathologies have been left out.
- Gingivitis (plaque-induced) – This is a common gum disease (periodontitis). Periodontal means the region that has been affected by the infection. This includes the gums, tissues and teeth. Bacteria lead to inflammation of an individual’s gums which loosen, become red and easily bleed. The bacteria, together with mucus, forms a sticky and colourless substance referred to as plaque that harbors these bacteria. Plaque which isn’t gotten rid of by either flossing or brushing usually hardens so as to form tartar which cannot be cleaned by simple brushing. Smoking is another main risk factor. Treatment of bleeding gums is reliant on how chronic as well as how far the condition has progressed.
- Periodontitis – It results from lack of treatment of gingivitis and the gums pull away from one’s teeth forming pockets which harbor the bacteria. The natural defenses of the body together with bacterial toxins begin to break down the connective tissues as well as the bone. The tooth may finally loosen and have to be extracted.
- Scarlet fever – This condition is caused by species of streptococci. It starts as pharyngitis and tonsillitis prior to involving the tongue and soft palate. It normally is a condition in children whereby fever occurs and some rashes develop on the skin. It’s treated with penicillin and the prognosis is usually excellent.