Oral and maxillofacial surgeons manage most pathology in the mouth and jaws. Though his residency at Cook County Hospital, continuing medical education, and thirty years of practice, Drs. Blecha and Jandali has treated and continues to treat many types of oral pathology. The anesthetic options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed.
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and 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 (erythroplakia) 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.
Most of the conditions that we see are not cancerous, so do not fear that your changed condition is cancerous. However, the best advice is to seek an evaluation if your oral sore does not heal within 3-4 weeks. We would recommend that your dentist perform an oral cancer examination regularly.
Pathology can also occur within the jawbones or about the teeth. This pathology may be related to the teeth or may be pathology that is bone pathology and is not related to the teeth. Regular dental evaluations and care will tend to detect developing pathology before it becomes severe. Drs. Blecha and Jandali is well experienced in treating both types of pathology.
Cyst In Upper Jaw Related To Teeth