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DID YOU KNOW?

You are at higher risk for oral cancer if you have any of the below risk factors:

  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Human Papilloma Virus 16 (HPV16)
  • Age 40 years and older
  • Prolonged sun exposure and use of tanning beds

Specializing in Oral Pathology

Treating Diseases and Disorders of the Mouth, Lower Jaw, Head and Neck

Oral pathology is the part of oral & maxillofacial surgery that diagnoses and treats diseases and disorders of the mouth, lower jaw, head, and neck. Your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Detecting an abnormality early, such as cancer, is key to an easier treatment and successful cure. You are at higher risk for oral cancer if you have any of the below risk factors:

  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Human Papilloma Virus 16 (HPV16)
  • Age 40 years and older
  • Prolonged sun exposure and use of tanning beds

Know the Warning Signs

Changes can occur to the skin lining the mouth, or the structures under the skin. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and often is not associated with oral cancer. Often the most accurate way to evaluate these changes is by doing a biopsy and looking at the tissue under a microscope. The following are signs or changes that you should look for:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplakia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in your mouth
  • Sores or ulcers that fail to heal or bleed easily
  • A lump or growth on the skin or under the skin of your mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Lumps or thick tissue on one side of the mouth or face
  • Difficulty with chewing or swallowing
  • Changes in hearing, vision or sensation of the face
  • Chronic sinus congestion or nose bleeds

If you notice any warning signs in your own mouth, please see your dentist or oral surgeon for an oral examination.  We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly by:

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

Your dentist and hygienist can often be the first people to note changes in your mouth. Because of this we strongly recommend regular visits to your dentist once or twice a year. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs above, please schedule an oral examination.