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Detecting an abnormality early is key to an easier treatment and successful cure.

Oral Pathology

Making Your Oral Health a Priority

Oral pathology concerns the structures of the mouth and jaw. When there is a change in the color or texture, it is important to get it checked out. Our surgeons can identify and investigate the cause of these changes. Oral pathology is the part of oral & maxillofacial surgery that diagnoses and treats diseases and disorders of the mouth, lower jaw, head, and neck.

We recommend that patients keep an eye out for any changes. If you notice any unusual signs or symptoms in your own mouth, lower jaw, head, or neck, please see your dentist or oral surgeon for an oral examination. Detecting an abnormality early is key to an easier treatment and successful cure.

The following are signs or changes that you should look for:

  • Reddish patches or whitish patches
  • Sores or ulcers that do not heal or bleed often
  • Lumps or growths on the skin or under the skin
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Development of thick tissue on the mouth or face
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Any changes in hearing, vision or abnormal sensations
  • Chronic sinus congestion or frequent nose bleeds

Monthly Self-Examinations

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, recommends everyone to perform an oral cancer self-exam each month:

  • Remove dentures
  • Look and feel inside the mouth area, including lips and gums
  • Inspect and feel the roof of your mouth
  • Visually inspect the inside surface as well as the back of the gums
  • Visually inspect your tongue and look at all of its surfaces
  • Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and under the lower jaw

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Human Papilloma Virus 16 (HPV16)
  • Age 40 years and older
  • Prolonged sun exposure and use of tanning beds