Oral Medicine

What Is Oral Medicine?

Oral Medicine is the specialty of dentistry focused on the oral health care of patients with medically-related disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region. It integrates medicine and dentistry to promote optimum health of patients.

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What Is Oral Medicine?

Specialists in oral medicine undergo specific training that enables them to diagnose, consult, and provide medical treatment to patients. Often when a patient seeks the aid of an oral medicine doctor, it’s because they have been referred by a primary care doctor, or they simply don’t know what’s causing their dental-oriented pain and discomfort.

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM), patients may see an average of 2.2 doctors in a 17-month span prior to seeking an oral medicine doctor for unknown causes of pain and discomfort. Not only can an oral medicine specialist help pinpoint the source of symptoms, but they can also implement appropriate treatment methods, most of which are non-surgical.

The practice of oral medicine also explores the connection between oral and overall health. This means that oral medicine doctors can help examine the link between poor oral health and diseases such as heart disease, rheumatoid and digestive issues, endocrine disorders, and more.

What Is Oral Medicine?
What Kind of Patients Require Oral Medicine?

Earlier, the terms “medically complex” and “underlying medical conditions” were mentioned. Essentially, this means that patients who visit an oral medicine specialist may have one or more of the following medical issues:

  • Diseases involving the mouth lining, lips, and oral mucous membranes
  • Disorders such as dry mouth
  • Salivary gland diseases
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
  • Jaw muscle conditions
  • Oral lesions
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Oral cancer

In addition to the conditions listed above, patients in need of oral medicine may be experiencing other soft-tissue inflammatory problems, metabolic and systemic health conditions, and neuropathic orofacial pain conditions. An oral medicine doctor can help differentiate and identify a condition based on individual symptoms and diagnostic results.

What Are the Core Oral Medicine Services?

The central services provided by an oral medicine doctor are to help diagnose and treat complex oral and maxillofacial conditions. Many oral medicine therapeutic methods are non-surgical. An oral medicine doctor will generally perform and provide:

  • Diagnostic biopsies
  • Therapeutic injections
  • Topical and oral medications
  • Minor surgical procedures and excisions

Sometimes oral medicine doctors will also assist in operating room procedures and surgeries.

When Is it Time to Consult an Oral Medicine Specialist?

If you’ve been experiencing pain and discomfort in the jaw, teeth, face, or mouth and have been unable to find relief, an oral medicine specialist can help. At Penn Dental Family Practice, we have some of the most highly regarded specialists in the area, in addition to some of the most advanced technology and approaches in dentistry.

We will also work to help you find an affordable solution to your dental care. Don’t let fear or anxiety prevent you from seeking the help you need and deserve. Make an appointment with a Penn Dental Family Practice specialist today or call us any time at 215-898-PDFP (7337).

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