Detection and Treatment of Oral Disease and Oral Cancer

Oral pathology refers to any disease that develops inside the mouth, salivary glands, or jaws. Many types of oral pathology are benign (non-cancerous), but patients should pursue early evaluation and proper treatment of any oral irregularities, as our mouths are especially vulnerable to infections and disorders.

At Southern Oral & Facial Surgery, our surgeons aim to detect oral disease as soon as possible in order to protect your oral and overall health. Your general dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for evaluation if an unusual lump or patch is seen, hence why it is important to maintain regular checkups. If you suspect the presence of a pathology or oral disease, contact our offices in Franklin and Thompson’s Station, TN, for an evaluation.

Types of Oral Diseases

Because the mouth has such a wide variety of functions and is exposed to many external environmental factors, the mouth is at an increased risk for the development of tumors and infection, and other pathological processes:

  • Strep throat
  • Tonsillitis
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Herpes simplex virus (cold sores)
  • Salivary gland disease
  • Oral ulceration
  • Some autoimmune diseases
  • Shingles
  • Oral cancer

Signs and Symptoms of an Oral Pathology

It is important that a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon examines your mouth if any symptoms are persistent. If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, an oral surgeon should evaluate you:

  • Reddish or whitish patches in the mouth
  • A chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

It is important to remember that not all of these symptoms are painful, but the absence of pain does not mean that there is not a problem. Your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. We recommend performing an oral self-examination at least every month. If you notice any abnormality, contact our office for an evaluation.

Treatment for Oral Disease and Oral Cancer

Some diseases can be treated with a course of antibiotics or the removal of benign lumps and cysts. Oral cancer is rare upon oral pathologies, but it is serious. Treatment for oral cancer can include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or oral surgery.

When you visit Southern Oral & Facial Surgery for a consultation, we may take 3D scans to evaluate the bones and soft tissues of the face. Prior to any type of surgery, we will discuss your options for anesthesia. As oral surgeons, our team of experts are qualified to administer all forms of anesthesia for the comfort and safety of our patients.

Disease may not always be preventable, but you can do your part by practicing regular oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth twice daily and incorporate fluoride into your oral health routine. Be sure to attend bi-yearly dental checkups so that your dentist can check for areas of concern and refer you to an oral surgeon promptly.

Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. If you experience any new or worsening symptoms on your lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck, contact Southern Oral & Facial Surgery in Franklin or Thompson’s Station, TN and our doctors will evaluate the condition of your mouth and develop a treatment plan to address your specific needs.

Types of Anesthesia

There are several anesthesia options available so patients can feel comfortable and at ease during treatment.

A local anesthetic is administered in the specific surgical area and can be used in conjunction with other anesthetic options, such as nitrous oxide. The patient remains awake and only the surgical area is numbed, so the patient can still drive home after.

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is administered through a mask when patients experience anxiety before the procedure. It provides mild pain-relieving effects and induces a relaxed state. Your surgeon can pair laughing gas with local anesthesia.

IV sedation renders a sleep-like state in which patients do not feel pain. This is commonly used in dental implant placement and the removal of wisdom teeth. General anesthesia, which renders the patient unconscious, is reserved for complex procedures, such as facial trauma or jaw surgery.