Oral pathology involves diagnosing and treating diseases of the mouth such as cysts, tumors, and precancerous and cancerous lesions. Many patients experience unusual changes in the mouth, bone, gums, tongue, or throat that may or may not be caused by disease. Diagnosing diseases in the mouth as early as possible is very important. The earlier a disease is diagnosed, the faster treatment and healing can begin.
What can I expect during the exam?
At Forest Acres Dentistry, we provide thorough head and neck oral cancer screenings at your routine dental cleaning appointments, which is typically twice per year. This involves a visual and tactile exam of your lymph nodes, gums, cheeks, and tongue. If any abnormal area is detected, a biopsy or tissue removal is usually the best way to determine a diagnosis, as the sample is sent to a pathology laboratory for analysis.
In addition, every 5 years we obtain a panoramic radiographic, which is a picture of all your teeth, your jaw bone, and your sinuses. Some tumors and cysts grow inside the bone and cannot be seen or felt by an intraoral exam until they are quite large. By taking this image every 5 years, we are able to detect any possible areas of concern at a much earlier stage.
How will I be treated?
Treatments vary depending on the type of disease that is present. The specific needs of each patient will be addressed on a case by case basis in order to best take care of that patient. Some treatments involve the excision of a lesion, while others may require involvement of other specialists, such as an oral surgeon or ear, nose and throat practitioner. Our office is dedicated to making any procedure performed as comfortable as possible.