Procedures


Oral Pathology

The evaluation and diagnosis of growths and lesions within the mouth and jaws is an important aspect of the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Patients referred for evaluation undergo a thorough examination of their head and neck areas.

Not all growths within the mouth are oral cancer. However, the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer is important to the increased survival and prognosis of the patient. Biopsies and/or other tests are performed, when required, to arrive at a diagnosis and to allow the development of an appropriate treatment plan.

In addition, oral and maxillofacial surgeons recommend that everyone perform an oral cancer self-exam each month. An oral examination is performed using a bright light and a mirror:

  • remove any dentures
  • look and feel inside the lips and the front of gums
  • tilt head back to inspect and feel the roof of your mouth
  • pull the cheek out to see its inside surface as well as the back of the gums
  • pull out your tongue and look at all of its surfaces
  • feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) in both sides of the neck including under the lower jaw

Early Detection and Treatment Provide a Better Chance for Cure

When performing an oral cancer self-examination, look for the following:

  • white patches of the oral tissues — leukoplakia
  • red patches — erythroplakia
  • red and white patches — erythroleukoplakia
  • a sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • an abnormal lump or thickening of the tissues of the mouth
  • chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • difficulty in chewing or swallowing
  • a mass or lump in the neck

Read more about Oral Pathology at: http://myoms.org/procedures/head-neck-and-oral-cancer