Utah Oral & Facial Surgeons – 801-783-3645 – Oral Pathology and Biopsy
Oral Pathology and Biopsy
Soft Tissue Pathology
A change of appearance in the soft tissue in your mouth may require medical attention. The most serious causes for these alteration or lesions is oral cancer, but there are other processes that create lesions in soft tissue. The following alterations or lesions can be signs of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches or whitish patches in the mouth.
- A sore that doesn’t heal and easily bleeds.
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
- Chronic sore throat, hoarseness or ear ache.
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
- Oral or facial pain without an obvious cause.
- Pain is not always present even though there may be a serious problem.
After Utah Oral & Facial Surgeons evaluates your medical history and the history of your condition, he will perform a clinical exam. Many conditions look similar and may require a biopsy (a small sample of the tissue) so that it can be analyzed by a pathologist. The biopsy is a very simple procedure performed while the patient is comfortably numbed with local anesthesia. After results are obtained from the pathologist, treatment will be determined.
Hard Tissue Pathology
A variety of pathologic conditions may effect the bones and teeth.
- Tumor: A solid tissue mass, known as a tumor, grows most often with the marrow spaces of a bone. Tumors may be malignant, but most often facial bone tumors are benign.
- Cysts: A soft tissue sack that expands like a water balloon as it collects fluid is called a cyst. Some are easily removed along with an impacted tooth. Others can expand aggressively and have a high recurrence rate.
- Osteomyelitis: This is a painful, pathological process that destroys bone. It is an infection associated with medicines prescribed for bone preservation such as: Actinal, Fosamax, Boniva and other intravenous forms of these medications. The first signs of this problem may often appear as a lesion in the mouth. You should seek immediate medical opinion if you have developed any of the symptoms described below.
- Numbness or tingling in the lips or soft tissue.
- Teeth that do not feel solid or that feel loose.
- Jaw bone that seems to be very flexible or gives a pressure sensation when biting.
- Bone that appears to be expanding or developing a lump.
- Facial swelling or asymmetry.
- Pain my be associated with the bone and teeth but often is not.
- Dentures that suddenly do not seem to fit.