oral pathology services at oral surgery office

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year.

Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers commonly referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers, they comprise about 85% of that category. Often oral cancer is only discovered when cancer has progressed to another location in the body, most likely the lymph nodes of the neck, and prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in a localized intraoral area. This is why oral pathology screenings, as conducted in our Cleveland Oral Surgery offices, and early detection are paramount.

Oral Cancer FAQs

What is the definition of oral pathology?
Oral pathology, or oral and maxillofacial pathology, is any disease, abnormality or injury to the oral cavity.

What is the most common oral pathology?
Studies show that the 10 most common oral mucosal lesions comprise almost three-quarters of oral lesions. The most common oral lesions are leukoplakia, tori, inflammatory lesions, fibromas, Fordyce’s granules, hemangiomas, ulcers, papillomas, epuli and varicosities.

What is an oral pathology exam?
Oral pathology exams involve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the mouth such as cysts, tumors, and precancerous and cancerous lesions. Many patients will experience unusual changes in the mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, or throat that may be caused by disease, and prompt the exam.

What do oral surgeons diagnose?
Oral surgeons diagnose a number of things including treatment of facial injury (broken bones, facial lacerations, or broken eye orbits), facial cosmetic surgery candidacy, airway correction for obstructive sleep apnea sufferers, and they also handle oral cancer diagnosis and treatment for head, neck, throat, and oral cancers.

What are some examples of issues that are in the realm of oral pathology?
There are a wide range of diseases and abnormalities that are under the umbrella of oral pathology including cleft palate or cleft lip, jaw misalignment, macroglossia, periodontal disease, oral ulcers, geographic tongue, and oral cancers.

How do you know if your jaw is out of alignment?
Signs to take note of that could indicate a jaw alignment issue include difficulty speaking, difficulty chewing, biting, or brushing your teeth, grinding and clenching, and jaw pain, particularly from misaligned teeth. But, your General Dentist will evaluate your jaw alignment and bite prior to referring you to an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon.

What causes oral cancer?
The risk of oral and oropharyngeal cancers is greatly increased by several factors– tobacco use, prolonged sun exposure, and HPV. Other things that can contribute to increased risk include age, gender, fair skin, poor oral hygiene, poor diet and nutrition, and a weakened immune system.

Is oral cancer curable?
Oral cancer is fairly common. It can be cured if found and treated at an early stage, when it’s small and has not spread to other parts of the body.

Does oral cancer spread quickly?
Most oral cancers are a type called squamous cell carcinoma. These cancers do tend to spread quickly, which is why screenings and early detection are so important.

What are the common symptoms of oral cancer?
Common symptoms or signs of oral cancer include swelling, lumps, bumps, or rough spots on the lips, gums, cheek, or other areas of the mouth, velvety white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth, unexplained bleeding in the mouth, unexplained numbness in the mouth, soreness in the back of the throat, difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the tongue or jaw, chronic sore throat or hoarseness, ear pain, a change in the way your teeth fit together, and dramatic weight loss.

What treatment options exist for oral cancer?
Surgery is typically the first-line treatment for oral cancers when they are detected early. Other common treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy.

What type of doctor should I see if I think I might have oral cancer?
If there is a reason to think you might have cancer, your doctor will refer you to a specialist. These specialists are oral and maxillofacial surgeons or head and neck surgeons.

If you are exhibiting any of the warning signs of oral cancers or diseases of the mouth, contact our team at Ocoee Oral Surgery today. Through our oral pathology services, we can conduct necessary screenings and help you understand treatment options if necessary. Early detection is the best defense against these issues, and we want to help you maintain your healthiest mouth.