Management of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology

Management of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology

The mouth and jaws are complex structures

There are many causes of lesions in the mouth, jaws, face, and neck.  The cause of these lesions may be related to your genetics, immune system, infection, environment, or other causes.  Diseases elsewhere in your body can present in the mouth and jaws.  Sometimes cancer may be the cause of these lesions.

Lumps, bumps, sores, ulcers, red or white patches, or changes in the mucosa of the jaws, lips, mouth or tongue should always be investigated to exclude the possibility of oral cancer. The condition of your gums and lips should be checked by your dentist at your annual dental check-up. If your dentist has any concerns, you may be referred to Dr .Banks for an opinion. She may request a number of investigations including x-rays, scans, and blood tests. It is likely you will require a biopsy where a sample is removed and sent to the lab to be analyzed under a microscope. Depending on the diagnosis received from the lab, further investigations and surgery may be required

The maxillofacial region includes the skin of the face and lips.

Lumps and bumps, sores, and discolorations of the skin of the face and lips should be examined as soon as they are noticed by you or your physician. These conditions are collectively called “lesions”. Dr. Banks may recommend complete removal of the lesion, or that a sample of the lesion to be surgically removed and sent to the laboratory to be analyzed under the microscope. Depending on the diagnosis received from the lab, further treatments or investigations may be required.

Smaller, benign (non- cancerous) lesions can be removed in the office setting with surgery or laser procedure with the comfort of sedation if desired. Careful attention is given to the treatment of the area to provide excellent closure (stitching) of the surrounding skin and minimal scarring.

There are pathologic conditions that can affect the jaws and bones of the facial complex. These conditions can cause swelling which may or may not be painful, loosening or shifting of the teeth with or without pain, numbness or pain and pressure of the jaws, forehead, nose and cheeks. Pathology of the jaws can be infectious, for example broken teeth causing severe infections, or sinus infections. Cysts or tumors can involve the bones of the jaws and face and can be aggressive causing bone destruction. There are other disease processes and hereditary conditions which cause problems within the bones of the face and jaws. When you are referred to Dr. Banks for evaluation of pathology, she will discuss the history of your problem and perform a thorough physical exam.  Oftentimes additional imaging may be necessary.  Depending on your individual situation, Dr. Banks may recommend that a small sample of the lesion be removed and sent for evaluation by a pathologist (biopsy) prior to performing definitive treatment.

Regardless of your situation, Dr. Banks has the expertise to help diagnose your disease.  Most importantly, she will spend the time necessary to help you understand your disease and how to treat it.

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