The structures of the jaws, mouth, tongue and throat reflect the disease conditions manifested by the systemic human whole: Be aware that the mouth and tongue are windows, indicators to the status of systemic function of the human body.
Warning Signs of Oral Pathology
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia)
- Whitish patches (leukoplakia)
- 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
Changes of the kinds listed above may be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain is not always necessary to define a 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. When or if any of the above abnormalities are detected, you should be thoroughly evaluated
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons frequently are called upon to diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases of the mouth, face and jaws. When oncologists or other medical specialists refer a patient to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon for surgery to remove cancerous or other destructive lesions/tumors, they do so knowing that the oral and maxillofacial surgeon has the education, training and surgical skill to excise the cancer and, if necessary, reconstruct the face and jaw area.