Oral pathology can be scary for patients, but fortunately the providers at CRIOS have advance training in the detection and management of oral pathology. Oral pathology includes development problems, benign and malignant lesions of the soft and hard tissue of the face, and oral cavities. Thankfully it is very uncommon for people to develop oral cancer. Most oral pathology is benign or non cancerous and is easily treated.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommend everyone perform an oral cancer self-exam each MONTH.
Steps for Self-Exam:
- Remove any oral prosthesis (denture, partial denture)
- Look and feel inside the mouth, including the lips, tongue, under the tongue and roof of mouth
- Use a bathroom mirror and bright light to see the back of the mouth
- Feel for lumps and enlarged areas that seem to be only on one side of the mouth or face.
What to Look For:
- White patches
- Red patches
- Red and white patches
- Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
- Lumps or thick tissue on one side of the mouth or face
- Chronic sore throat or change in voice quality
- Difficulty with chewing or swallowing
- Mass or lump in the neck
- Changes in hearing, vision or sensation of the face
- Chronic sinus congestion or nose bleeds
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer:
- Alcohol and tobacco use: Using these two together increasing the risk of oral cancer 15-to-1 alone
- Infection with Human Papilloma Virus 16 has been linked to oral cancer
- Age 40 years and older
- Prolonged sun exposure or multiple severe sun burns as a child