Sores or lumps in the mouth can cause significant worry and cause you to wonder who you should turn to for help – your medical doctor or your dentist. Studying, diagnosing, and treating such tissue abnormalities fall under the umbrella of oral pathology, which is a general term for all diseases that can develop inside of your mouth, salivary glands, and/or jaws. Although the majority of oral pathologies are benign, it is always important to receive proper, expert evaluation and/or treatment by your oral health specialist.
Some examples of oral pathologies include oral sores, either white or red lesions, ulcers (raw areas), swelling or lumps in the mouth, oral cancers, cysts or tumors in the jaws, and more. Many of these oral pathologies are not painful, but that does not mean they are not serious. If you notice a lesion or have soreness in your mouth or jaws that do not improve within a week, or that rapidly worsen, then it is important to have an expert evaluation as soon as possible.
Dentists and oral surgeons specialize in treating all types of oral diseases. To ensure that your mouth is healthy, it is very important to attend regular examinations at your dentist’s office. During one of these examinations, your dentist may see something that requires further evaluation, and therefore refer you to us. As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, we are experts in the evaluation and treatment of oral pathology. During your initial consultation, we will complete a full review of your health history and perform a clinical examination, as well as review X-rays, when necessary. We also utilize an in-office 3D scanner to better evaluate problematic areas in your mouth and jaws.
In some cases, we may suggest an oral tissue biopsy, which involves taking and studying a small tissue sample in a laboratory setting. We will fully discuss our recommendations and personalize a treatment plan that is least invasive but provides the most detailed information.
If you have questions or concerns about dental emergencies, please contact our staff at Santa Rosa Oral Surgery or just set up an appointment.