Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have been rigorously trained to evaluate and treat pathology that develops in and around the mouth. Because of our doctors’ unique training, we often seen patients referred to us from other dentists or physicians who would appreciate our help. In addition, we often see patients who have genuine concerns about things that they have noticed themselves. Timely examination and treatment is paramount to optimally successful healthcare and especially true in situations where pathologic lesion may have developed in your body.
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer.
The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems.
In addition, teeth can develop associated cysts and lesions that may need further evaluation as well. These areas can be evaluated (with the help of radiographs as necessary) in order to determine if treatment is required.