Oral Pathology

The study and diagnosis of diseases that affect the oral cavity is known as oral pathology. As an oral surgeon, Dr. Leonhart possesses particular expertise in oral and maxillofacial pathology, not only involving diseases of the oral tissues but also pathologic conditions in the immediately surrounding areas.

Understanding Oral Pathology

A large number of diseases can occur in or around the mouth. Some are unique to the oral environment while others can be spread to the oral region from other sources. Many of these conditions can be accompanied by serious consequences if they are not recognized, properly diagnosed, and treated as quickly as possible.

The Role of an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon has the qualifications and experience to provide a clinical assessment of oral lesions and conditions. Depending upon the clinical diagnosis, it may also be necessary to submit samples of the affected tissues for microscopic examination. Once the true nature of the lesion has been identified, an oral surgeon has the unique training to provide both surgical and reconstructive treatments when indicated.

Common Causes of Oral Pathology and Oral Cancer

  • Tobacco – The risk for oral cancer is as much as 10 times greater for smokers compared to non-smokers.
  • Alcohol – Studies have shown a link between alcohol abuse and the development of oral cancer.
  • Viruses – Studies have indicated a strong link between HPV (human papilloma virus) and HSV (herpes simplex virus) in the incidence of oral cancer.
  • Sunlight – There is a clear association between sunlight exposure (actinic radiation) and the development of oral cancer (particularly cancer of the lower lip).

Dr. Leonhart is experienced in the evaluation of the oral cavity as well as the head and neck area and offers surgical care that includes but is not limited to the treatment of cysts or tumors in the jaw bones and lesions that involve the soft tissues of the oral mucosa, gums, tongue, cheeks, and lips.

Call or contact us today to schedule an appointment today for a complete oral cancer screening or to receive more information regarding our oral pathology services.