Oral Pathology

Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery

Northern Virginia Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Surgeons located in Burke, VA, Reston, VA & Alexandria, VA

If your dentist detects a tumor or other type of oral growth during your exam, they might refer you to the team at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery in Burke, Alexandria, and Reston, Virginia, for oral pathology. The providers regularly perform biopsies and other preventive measures to detect oral problems before they get worse. Request your appointment by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.

Oral Pathology Q & A

What is oral pathology?

Oral pathology is a branch of oral health care that detects and treats diseases that affect your mouth and surrounding structures, including your gums, tongue, teeth, and other soft tissues, like your salivary glands. 

Although tooth decay and gum disease are the most common oral issues, other conditions can also affect your mouth, including herpes simplex virus, oral cancer, black hairy tongue, and candidiasis or thrush.

Who can benefit from oral pathology?

Oral pathology is a preventive measure used to detect potentially life-threatening problems before they get worse. Every time you visit the dentist, your provider carefully examines your gums, tongue, and surrounding structures to detect lumps, patches, or discoloration of tissue–all symptoms of oral cancer. 

While anyone can benefit from oral pathology, it’s particularly beneficial for people with certain risk factors, including: 

  • Tobacco users
  • Heavy drinkers
  • Individuals who spend a lot of time in the sun

Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery might also recommend oral pathology if you have a family history of oral cancer or another type of oral disease. 

What happens if you detect an oral growth or other problem?

If your Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery provider detects an unusual growth or other oral health problem, they conduct an oral biopsy.

During an oral biopsy, your provider administers a local anesthetic to numb your tooth roots, tongue, and gum tissue. Next, they carefully remove a portion of the affected tissue and send it to a laboratory for further review and evaluation. 

After the operation, your provider also provides you with a list of careful recovery instructions. This might include a round of prescription antibiotics and adjustments to your diet. They might also ask you to try and quit smoking or using chewing tobacco if applicable. 

Does insurance cover oral pathology?

The cost of oral pathology varies and depends on the type of biopsy you receive. However, most insurers cover at least part of the cost. If you have questions about your policy, contact your insurance provider prior to scheduling an appointment at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery. 

If you’ve detected an unusual growth or other potentially serious oral problem, make an appointment with the team at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.