Oral Cancer and Oral Pathology from your Oral Surgeons in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, or Frederick

Oral pathology, or the study of disease that affect the oral and maxillofacial region includes oral cancer.

Oral Pathology is the study of diseases that affect the oral and maxillofacial region. This includes oral cancer as well as other conditions such as oral infections, benign tumors, and pre-cancerous conditions. The early detection and diagnosis of oral cancer and other oral pathologies from your oral surgeon at Greater Maryland Oral Surgery and Dental Implants in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, or Frederick are essential for the successful treatment and management of these conditions. 


Oral Pathology in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, or Frederick

Your oral surgeons at Greater Maryland Oral Surgery and Dental Implants understand that oral pathology is crucial in providing comprehensive care for your patients. Oral pathologists can identify and diagnose a wide range of conditions, including oral cancer, infections, autoimmune disorders, and developmental abnormalities. 


By working closely with an oral pathologist, you can ensure timely and accurate diagnoses, which is essential in developing effective treatment plans. Regular screening and monitoring of patients are also important in detecting potential problems early on, which can improve outcomes and save lives. 


Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the mouth and throat, and more specifically the tongue, lips, cheek, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, and the pharynx. The causes of oral cancer are diverse, with the most common being tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, human papillomavirus infection, and a combination of these risk factors. The incidence of oral cancer has been increasing, particularly among young adults, and it is estimated that approximately 48,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year. 


Symptoms of Oral Cancer

The early signs and symptoms of oral cancer can be difficult to detect, and it is important to be aware of any changes in the mouth that continue for more than two weeks. Common symptoms of oral cancer can include: 

  • A sore or painful area in the mouth that does not heal
  • A red or white patch in the mouth
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek
  • Loose teeth or dentures
  • Swelling in the jaw
  • Numbness or tenderness in the mouth or face
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in the voice, such as hoarseness


Diagnosis of Oral Cancer

The diagnosis of oral cancer begins with a thorough examination of the mouth and throat by your oral surgeon in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, or Frederick. This exam includes a visual inspection of the mouth and throat and may include a biopsy of the affected area. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is taken from the mouth and examined under a microscope. In this way, it can be determined if cancer cells are present. 


In addition to a biopsy, imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans may be performed to more accurately diagnose oral cancer. These scans will also be used to determine if the cancer is only in one area, or has spread. They will also help to plan the treatment that will be recommended. 


Treatment of Oral Cancer

The treatment of oral cancer in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, or Frederick will depend on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. The most common treatments for oral cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. 


Surgery is the most common treatment for oral cancer, and it may involve removing the affected portion of the mouth or throat. Sometimes, a portion of the jaw or the entire jaw may need to be removed. Reconstructive surgery may be necessary to restore the appearance and function of the teeth and mouth. 


If you need a skilled and trusted dental professional to help you explore your treatment options, Greater Maryland Oral Surgery and Dental Implants is for you! Please schedule a consultation with us today.