The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral 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 (erythroplasia) 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.
Our faculty of oral and maxillofacial pathologists offer the full scope of oral and maxillofacial pathology services. Surgical Oral Pathology – physicians, general dentists, and dental specialists send surgical pathology specimens (biopsies) of the oral cavity, head, and neck for microscopic analysis and diagnosis. Clinical Oral Pathology– physicians, general dentists, and dental specialists refer clinical patients for evaluation and treatment of such conditions as: xerostomia (dry mouth), autoimmune diseases (lichen planus, pemphigoid, pemphigus, linear IgA disease), oral ulceration, burning mouth/tongue, oral fungal infections, oral viral infections, orofacial pain, salivary gland disease and oral leukoplakia.
Areas of special interest include: oral mucosal precancerous and cancerous conditions, detection through clinical evaluation, biopsy procedures and microscopic diagnostic services; benign mucosal ulcers and growths; cysts and tumors of the jaws and maxillofacial complex; neoplastic and non-neoplastic salivary gland conditions; oral mucosal immune-mediated disorders and conditions associated with dermatologic diseases as well as head and neck skin disorders and neoplasms. id to interpretation.