Detection, Treatment, and Prevention of Oral Cancer and Diseases
At Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists South Carolina, we have your oral health covered. Dr. Barefoot is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon who is trained to identify, diagnose, and surgically treat oral pathologies, including oral cancers. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the mortality rate is particularly high for oral cancers because the cancer is often discovered late in its development. Therefore, it is crucial to have a dental professional examine any suspected pathology in your mouth.
Your mouth is one of your body's most important early warning systems. You should not ignore any suspicious lumps or sores in the lining of the inside of the mouth or anywhere on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. If you discover something that seems out of the ordinary, request an appointment for an examination. Early treatment is crucial for a successful recovery. Although many changes to the mouth and surrounding areas will turn out to be harmless, more serious conditions like oral cancer should be ruled out as soon as possible.
Signs and Symptoms of an Oral Pathology
The oral mucosa consists of the soft tissues of most of the mouth, including the gums, inside of the cheeks, hard palate, and tongue. When they are healthy, they are smooth and pink. An oral pathology may be present if you notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Bleeding sores, or sores that fail to heal
- Persistent swelling
- Suspicious lumps, sores, or irregularities
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
- Chronic earache
- Facial and/or oral pain without a clear cause
It’s a good idea to perform self-exams of your oral structures on a monthly basis so that you are familiar with how your mouth normally looks and feels. It is important to have a dental health professional evaluate any changes you may notice.
Dr. Barefoot may perform a biopsy procedure in our office when you come in for an oral pathology evaluation. If needed, we will perform detailed 3D CBCT scans during your consultation. We will also discuss your anesthesia and sedation options to ensure maximum comfort. A biopsy involves removing a small tissue sample to send to a lab for further examination. Dr. Barefoot can then discuss your next steps for treatment based on the results of the biopsy.
If you notice any abnormalities in and around your mouth, please contact Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Specialists South Carolina to schedule an appointment. Dr. Barefoot will perform an oral pathology screening and create a treatment plan based on his findings.