Understanding Oral Pathology – Oral Cancer

In the realm of dental surgery, oral pathology describes detecting, treating, and educating patients on serious oral health concerns – one of the most significant being oral cancer. As experts in complex oral health issues, we help explain the importance of oral pathology, particularly oral cancer detection, and how it can help you overcome the long-lasting effects of oral diseases on your overall health.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a collective term that can involve cancer of the lips, gums, tongue, and other mouth tissues, and is part of a larger group of illnesses described as head and neck cancers. Though they differ in the area they affect, oral cancers are typically treated in the same manner, and share many similar risk factors, including tobacco use, too much sun exposure on your lips, and the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV), among many others. The exact causes are unclear, but the early warning signs are often easily identifiable, although sometimes hard to detect without a professional examination.

What You Can Do

During a regular dental checkup appointment, your general dentist will carefully inspect your oral cavity for signs of oral cancer and other abnormalities. Routine oral cancer screenings improve your chances of detecting the disease early, which in turn improves your chances of successful treatment, if treatment becomes necessary. As oral surgeons, we can also perform biopsies on suspicious tissues to more accurately diagnose oral cancer. In the meantime, however, you should also perform a self-screening at least every month by checking for signs of trouble, such as red or white patches, lumps, growths, sores, or rough areas on your tongue, cheeks, or roof/floor of your mouth.


Combining experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine care for their patients’ health and comfort, the team at Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery is ready to improve the health and beauty of smiles in the Sonoma County and North Bay area. To schedule a consultation, contact our office by calling 707-545-4625 (Santa Rosa) or 707-584-1630 (Rohnert Park).